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Council approves permit for new gymnastics building

The days are numbered for the old Perham High School building as it currently stands. The Perham City Council approved a conditional use permit for a new gymnastics building at a special council meeting on Wednesday night.

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The Perham City Council approved a conditional use permit for the gymnastics facility. The site is across the street from Heart of the Lakes Elementary on Second Avenue SW. (Carter Jones/ FOCUS)

The days are numbered for the old Perham High School building as it currently stands. The Perham City Council approved a conditional use permit for a new gymnastics building at a special council meeting on Wednesday night.

The 30,000 square foot building will be located across the street from the Heart of the Lakes Elementary School on Second Avenue SW.

The council voted to approve moving the required set back for school district buildings from 50 feet to 25 feet. The building needs to be closer to the street to still allow space for the soccer and football practice fields.

The project will also include a four to eight foot natural buffer from the residential area adjacent to the building.

There was some concern about traffic in the area, but City Manager Jonathan Smith said the gymnastics building is only being moved one block.

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"That neighborhood sees that traffic regardless," he said. "It's just a matter of whose front yard it happens in."

The varsity gymnastics team and Perham Renowned Youth Development gymnastics club currently practices in the old high school gym, but The Hub project can't begin to demolish and renovate the building until the team is relocated to a new facility.

The new gymnastics facility was first unveiled at the Perham-Dent School Board meeting on March 18. The building will have space for locker rooms that can be utilized by the football, baseball and track and field teams, as well as a 120 space parking lot.

Superintendent Mitch Anderson previously stated funding for the building could come from the gymnastics club, with the school district leasing to own. The rest of the funding would come from gymnastics club memberships and fundraisers, according to Anderson.

The council also authorized Pine Island Fish Company and Brew Ales & Eats to serve alcohol on Main Street during Turtle Fest.

Patrons will be required to wear wristbands signifying if they're a minor and will not be permitted to cross the street with drinks.

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