THE PLACE TO BE AGAIN It was good to see Minot back in the state tournament business this past week. The combined State Class A and State Class B volleyball tournament was held at the Minot State University Dome Thursday through Saturday, returning to Minot after a one-year hiatus in the aftermath of the Souris River flood of 2011. Minot simply wasn't in any shape last November to handle the influx of visitors and fans that come with the 16 volleyball teams. This year was a different story, with a variety of new hotels open for business to help accommodate the legions of fans that followed their teams to the state tournament. There are also new restaurants and new businesses in town since the tournament was last held in Minot in 2010. The state volleyball tournament has become a staple on the Minot sports schedule in recent years, and having another successful event this year puts the city back on track for hosting the tournament in the future.
SPACE FOR STUDENTS Minot certainly isn't the only city in the area with a growing need for space for public school students, but a simple glance at current class sizes in elementary grades is no doubt a glimpse of what's to come in the near future. Superintendent Mark Vollmer said last year's graduating class from Minot High School consisted of 420 students. This year, there are 753 students enrolled in kindergarten and 625 first-graders. The district already has building projects under way, with additions going up at Longfellow and Lewis and Clark elementaries and a new Erik?Ramstad Middle School under construction. Those projects will solve some of the district's current space needs, but won't be the solution to every concern. At some point, a new elementary school in southeast Minot is going to be necessary, and an addition is likely at Edison Elementary. And those likely won't be the only changes needed in the near future. But, as always, finding funding for such endeavors won't be easy and won't always be popular. But it's clear there needs to be significant changes beyond current building projects in order for the Minot district to maintain its standard of excellence.