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A lot of work happened last summer and throughout the start of this school year as part of the Winona Area Public Schools referendum passed last fall.

There have been many school improvements to buildings and grounds throughout the district, and some are ongoing, but I want to focus on some positive changes made to the Jefferson Elementary art room in the basement.

Last fall, the art room — along with other rooms in the basement — was identified as containing mold in a couple areas and students often complained of stomach aches or headaches after being in the space for a short time.

The space became part of a district effort to measure and improve air quality, remove mold, take out falling ceiling tiles and generally improve moisture issues within the basement of Jefferson Elementary.

One of the measures was the installation of professional dehumidifiers in the basement to remove excess moisture. These dehumidifiers are doing a great job to make sure the mold issues do not return to the basement classrooms.

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A well-crafted false ceiling was also installed in the art room. This looks much better than the exposed ceiling with all of the tiles removed, and it has gone a long way to improve the sound quality of the room.

I want to thank Winona taxpayers for passing last fall’s referendum, which allowed the building and grounds improvements to be made to our district.

I also want to thank maintenance and grounds staff and contractors for doing such a good job and responding to issues as they arise. I believe this is a great investment to make in our infrastructure, to the betterment and well-being of our students and staff and to the vast improvement of our learning spaces.

Winona taxpayers can know they made a real and lasting difference in the lives of K-12 students. Thank you to all.

Jeff Morgan, Winona

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Jeff Morgan is a K-12 art teacher for Winona Area Public Schools.

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