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Fresh paint, new carpet among upcoming improvements at PHS

Students and staff at Perham High School may notice some changes when they get back from winter break.

Some new flooring, paint, hand rails and stair treads are all on the docket as part of a repair and improvement plan approved by school board members at a meeting Nov. 20.

The flooring is scheduled to be replaced over winter break so the new stained-cement floor will have time to dry. Depending on timing, the other work may also be done over the holiday – or it may have to wait until the Martin Luther King Day break in January.

The work plan has already been bid out and accepted, high school Principal Ehren Zimmerman said after the school board meeting.

Approval by the board was one of the final requirements before work could begin.

The repairs are expected to cost “just over $70,000,” which is within the amount budgeted for capital projects this year, said Superintendent Mitch Anderson.

Funding for the upgrades will come from the district’s annual capital fund; not from the capital levy that was passed in 2012.

Stair treads, hand rails and most of the carpeted areas of the school are on the list of what will be improved. Walls in several of the stairwells will also get a fresh coat of paint.

These areas are “in desperate need of some repairs,” said Anderson during the meeting.

Most of the carpeting is original to the 1990 addition, Zimmerman said.

As part of the plan, the carpeting in the senior hallway, lobby and second floor will be torn up and replaced with a stained-concrete floor.

It will be much easier for the cleaning staff to care for, said Zimmerman.

Currently, the janitorial staff uses an average-sized vacuum to go over all of the carpet.

After it is replaced, a ride-on floor washing machine can be used to do the job in a fraction of the time.

The hand rails and treads on the northeast and northwest staircases are slated to be redone, along with several smaller sets of stairs on the ground level.

“Some of those stair treads are safety issues … It’s not safe,” said board member Jim Rieber at the meeting.

After the meeting, Zimmerman showed areas where pieces of peeling and breaking treads have already been cut away.

Russ Winkels, the district’s facilities manager, said the final decisions on colors are being made and materials should be ordered soon.

Also at the meeting, the board:

-Approved adding an extra English class section for the remaining trimesters. Zimmerman said there are only 34 sections of English classes in the high school, compared to at least 40 for other core standard areas. A staff member who is licensed to teach English is available to lead the class.

-Approved the gymnastics coaching staff contracts of Jenna Schmitz (head coach), Mike Peterson, (assistant coach) and John Lubitz (volunteer assistant coach).

-Voted to approve a five-year extension of the district’s contract with Viking Coca-Cola.