Owatonna School Superintendent Peter Grant was a guest on AM 1390's Talk of the Town. There are more than 5,000 students this year, which is an increase with an even larger increase in pre-k students.

Tonight, the Owatonna School Board will meet at 5PM to accept $8.3 million in bids for Willow Creek School improvements.

Grant noted that getting parking lots redone this summer has been a test of patience with so much rain causing numerous delays. Getting materials has also been a challenge.

The security improvements have been completed at the Wilson School. Wilson will serve as the test plot for the other schools in regards to their updated security systems. Difficulty in finding materials caused the security updates at the other schools to be delayed until the other work is being done. This way bids could be combined and save money.

In a year, Willow Creek will be converted to a K-5 school, with the Junior High building becoming a middle school for sixth- through eighth-graders. A new new gym and classrooms are forthcoming for Lincoln and McKinley schools.

Forty new teachers began their careers this summer in Owatonna. Add in paraprofessionals and EAs and the Owatonna School District will be welcoming about 60-65 new employees this school year.