Breaking Ground
for Victoria Elementary School

It took 35 years to get a public school back in Victoria.  Groundbreaking occurred on Thursday, June 3rd, 2004.  Victoria Elementary School will be located just south of Deer Run.

Gina Holman of Victoria served as co-chair last fall of the Citizens Campaign for School District 112 Referendum.  It was successful!  Her family includes husband Dave and children Victoria, 7; Mitchell, 4; and Joey, 16 months.

A string of groundbreakers also included school board members, Victoria city councilmembers, referendum volunteers, and children who will attend the new school.

Mayor Jerry Bohn, left, and Victoria City Councilmember Richard Tieden are pleased that the residents of Victoria will have another gathering place in the community.

School District 112 and the City of Victoria formed a partnership to make it happen.  (L-r):  Dr. Bonnie Menken, Director of Curriculum for District 112; Mary Thun, Victoria City Councilmember; and Nancy Kracke, Director of Communications for District 112.  On the far left is Laurie Gauer, member of the School Board.

Victoria was well represented at the groundbreaking.  (L-r):  Diane Koban, School Board Member for District 112; Mike Miles, volunteer for District 112 Referendum; Mary Thun, Victoria City Councilmember; Mary Welch, past board member for the school board.

Other players include (l-r):  Marc Anderson, Executive Vice President/Project Manager for Lundgren Brothers; Gary Delaney, Carver County Commissioner from Victoria; Gayle Degler, Carver County Commissioner from Chanhassen; Carole Rehm, Land Coordinator for Lundgren.

As City Planner/Acting City Administrator for Victoria, Mark Kaltsas (center) was involved in negotiations with Lundgren Brothers and School District 112.

Michelle Helgen, member of the District 112 School Board, thanked all present for helping to make this day possible.

Groundbreakers basked in the glory and story of a new school.

If there are roughly 1,700 families in Victoria today, then there are roughly 3,000 kids in Victoria.  A school in the city has been needed.

Mayor Jerry Bohn spoke about the team effort that helped make the day possible.

The open site is impressive and expansive.  Its horizon is lined today as far as the eye can see with mature trees and ponds, even a couple barns.  Tomorrow it will also be lined with hundreds of homes and big orange school buses.

The Victoria Elementary School will arrive in Victoria along with the first phase of annexation of Laketown Township.  That first phase contains 200 acres to be developed by Lundgren Brothers.

Says Nancy Wittman, first principal of Victoria Elementary School, "I feel so fortunate to lead the charge of literally building a school from the ground up."

"We have assembled an incredibly talented core planning team that will begin its work in July.  The core team, along with parents, community members, and staff will create Victoria Elementary School together," says Principal Nancy Wittman.

Victoria children involved in the groundbreaking were (l-r):  Anne Larson, daughter of Dr. John and Natalie Larson; Michael and Nicholas Eberhardt, sons of Mike and Annette Eberhardt; and Victoria Holman, daughter of Dave and Gina Holman.

What would a groundbreaking ceremony be without hardhats and shovels and cameras!

Ready, set, dig!  It was not like playing in the soft loam of a lush garden.

The Holman diggers love their new sandbox.

Mayor Bohn and Councilmember Tieden reflecting at the end of the groundbreaking ceremony.

A spanking new school bus was ready to take groundbreakers to the site of the Chaska High School, which will be receiving a large new wing with most of the $54 million from the school referendum.  About $14 to $15 million will construct Victoria Elementary School.

Thank you, Hollis Schwartz, for driving safely.

It's a wonderful never-ending story in Victoria, Minnesota.  Any way you look at it, breaking ground for the Victoria Elementary School is a breakthrough for the people of Victoria.

The End

Love, Sue