Kent Worley, one of Duluth’s most accomplished landscape architects keeps fretting over the Ordean Highschool site. He’s been on a cross country tour and made a point of looking at excellent high schools across the nation. Here is his brief comparison of first rate high school grounds and Ordean’s siting.
6 to 8 tennis courts; Ordean will have none.
1-2 baseball fields; Ordean will have one.
1-2 softball fields; Ordean may have one.
1 football/soccer field; Ordean will have one.
1 football/soccer practice field; Ordean will have none.
Running track; Ordean will have none.
700-900 parking spaces for this population school; Ordean will have only half, or 440.
600-800 linear ft. of student drop off walk and curb; Ordean will unsafely use 40th Ave and Superior Street.
20-25 bus parking student drop area; Ordean space will be fortunate to have 1/3 of this.
Buildings are typically set back from collector streets 300 to 600+ feet; Ordean will be 40 [only forty] feet away from a major street, about 2 Â½ car lengths away]
General open space for parking/driving pedestrian safety; Ordean will have little to none.
Outdoor nature or outdoor classroom areas; Current JCI plan shows clearing and filling the one high quality natural feature on site.
Runoff pond collection spaces; Ordean will have limited to no space for this.
Building isolation from surrounding traffic noise and vehicular fumes; Ordean will need to keep windows closed for sound and air quality control.
Sites need space for expansion—often buildings & athletics expand 1/3 and more; Ordean will have no space for this.
Schools have normal support needs for deliveries, storage, maintenance equipment and parking and reasonable space between all these features which are necessary for site utility, safety, appearance and flexibility; Ordean will not fit all these needs on the 26 to 34 acres being proposed, less the 4 acres of unbuildable land.
Oh, by the way, the state’s recommended minimum site sizes mean 50 to 55 acres of BUILDABLE land; Ordean has over 4 acres in completely unbuldable steep slope and ravine / stream condition, so the 26 acres is really only 22. Compare that to the recommended 50 to 55 acres of buildable terrain this state knows by experience is required.