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Letter: Prior Lake should look hard at Nexus information

Oct 22, 2017 by Art Johnston
Duluth School Board member

I’ve read with interest in City Pages and in the Prior Lake American about the Nexus Group’s Michael David and Brent Jones involvement with the proposed building renovations of the Prior Lake-Savage Area School District.

The references to David and Jones and their relationship with the Johnson Controls Inc. $315 million school project in Duluth only scratched the surface of the disarray and the diversion of money from education that has happened here.

As a Duluth School Board member, I have firsthand knowledge of when David and Jones were spokespeople and promoters for the JCI project.

It was claimed that only half of this $315 million would come from local taxpayers with the rest from cost savings and selling old buildings. But we’ve since increased local taxes by over 130 percent.

The claims of cost saving have never materialized.

The claims of selling $27 million in abandoned buildings have only resulted in $4 million in revenue.

As a result, we have been forced to pay for a significant portion of the building program by pulling money from the general fund with a result of yearly deficits in our budget and a crippling diversion of money from the classrooms.

Since David and Jones were involved, our school has lost nearly 2,000 student enrollments to neighboring districts.

These results should really have come as no surprise. Though these people were being promoted as engineers and energy experts, no energy analysis of the existing or of the proposed buildings were ever done or shown to the public. There were numerous claims of inadequate indoor air quality, but again, no analysis of existing or the resulting air quality in the new buildings were ever given to the public.

Prior Lake should look hard at getting second opinions and take a skeptical look at the data and proposals being promoted by the Nexus Group.

Art Johnston

Duluth School Board member

Please read more from the Prior Lake American: http://www.swnewsmedia.com/prior_lake_american/news/opinion/letters_to_the_editor/letter-prior-lake-should-look-hard-at-nexus-information/article_05eb0b9b-b182-5a38-81e0-9a90b5be3455.html