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Rochester schools facilities director resigns

Brian Smidt

Brian Smidt, Rochester Public Schools' director of facilities and a member of Rochester Superintendent Michael Munoz's cabinet, has resigned, the district announced recently

Smidt oversaw construction and maintenance of the district's buildings and schools, serving in the post from Dec. 30, 2013, until April 2, when his resignation took effect. Smidt came to Rochester schools after serving eight years at Charter House, a senior living facility on the Mayo Clinic campus.

"We wish him well in his future endeavors," district spokeswoman Heather Nessler said.

During his tenure, Smidt oversaw a $6.1 million capital expansion that saw additions built on six of the district's elementary schools, including Folwell, Franklin, Gibbs, Lincoln, Pinewood and Washington, as Rochester joined districts across the state in shifting to all-day, every-day kindergarten.

Previously, only 52 percent of the district's kindergartners were in an all-day program. The extra classroom space, coupled with state funding, made it possible to offer all-day kindergarten to all of the district's four- and five-year-olds for the first time.


The reason for Smidt's departure was unclear. Smidt was unavailable for comment.

Smidt joined the district at a time when the facilities director post had taken on heightened prominence. Previous construction coordinators had reported to executive director of finance Larry Smith. But under the arrangement begun with Smidt's hiring, the facilities director answered directly to Rochester Superintendent Michael Munoz. The position pushed the number of department heads in the superintendent's cabinet from seven to eight.

Smidt made $110,000 in salary at the time of his resignation. Nessler said the district is currently not searching for a replacement, but instead conducting a review of its staffing situation.

"This resignation has created an opportunity for the district to review a variety of staffing options for this position," Nessler said. "The district has not yet determined which option to proceed with."

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