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Elementary, high school buildings get some updates

The new containment doors at Heart of the Lakes Elementary School add another level of safety. Elizabeth Huwe/FOCUS1 / 2
In the high school, stair-well walls are being painted two-tone gray and the old stair treads have been replaced to avoid tripping hazards. Elizabeth Huwe/FOCUS2 / 2

It’s ‘in with the new’ at Perham High School and Heart of the Lakes Elementary after some recent building improvements.

At Heart of the Lakes, a new set of containment doors were installed at the main entrance on Jan 18.

These doors are programmed to lock at 8:30 a.m. and stay locked until classes are out of session at 3:20 p.m. Anyone who wants to get into the main building during that time needs to check in at the office first to get buzzed through the doors.

“The reason for the install was added security for our school,” said Principal Jen Hendrickson. “We want everyone to check in before entering the building.”

 “So far, I’ve only gotten positive feedback... I think parents are just thankful for that extra safety measure,” she said. “The parents I’ve spoken to have been happy and it’s worked pretty slick.”

Superintendent Mitch Anderson said the containment doors were covered by Safe Schools dollars, which are earmarked by the state for safety improvements.

At the high school, workers took out most of the carpet over winter break and replaced it with new, textured cement flooring.

Russ Winkels, buildings manager for the school district, said this new floor will require much less maintenance. He said this is the same type of flooring that was previously installed at the elementary school, and has worked there very well.

The textured surface will also prevent slipping whenever the floor is wet.

“We can just wash it with the floor scrubber machine and water,” Winkels said. Mud, coffee and other spills can easily be cleaned without leaving stains.

The high school’s stair wells have also gotten a makeover. Walls in the wells are being given a fresh coat of gray paint, replacing the old aqua color that had been painted on during a 1990 remodel.

Stair treads were also replaced throughout the high school.

During a walk-through of the building, Principal Ehren Zimmerman pointed out where many of the old treads had started to peel and break, creating tripping hazards.

All work in the high school was paid for through deferred maintenance and operating capital funds. Overall, the projects tallied about $88,000.