A new secure entry at Wilson Elementary and parking lot repairs at Wilson and McKinley are among the recent improvements in the Owatonna school district.

Wilson School is the first to feature a new secure entry area, which will be operable for the start of the school year. Cameras and card readers for staff will be added later in the year. The next schools in line for security updates are the high school, Roosevelt and the junior high.

Construction crews and heavy equipment will be seen outside Willow Creek and the junior high this fall, according to an email update from the school district. The work is the result of the successful referendum in November 2015. At the August school board meeting, a board member commented that residents are asking about construction progress. The district sends out a periodic update.

The work at Willow Creek and the junior high will be preparing those sites for additions as part of the changes coming for the 2017-18 school year. Willow Creek will convert to a K-5 elementary. Lincoln and McKinley will receive additions and Washington Elementary will close.

The parking lots at McKinley and Wilson have been repaved and striped. Sidewalk repair and some sodding also occurred at Wilson.

The school board heard ideas in August for how to alleviate elementary overcrowding. Changes will create an attendance area for Willow Creek and assign students from the Washington area. Discussions will continue in September.