The Perham-Dent School Board agreed to begin the hiring of a student success coordinator.

The board discussed the topic at a July 25 work session.

Superintendent Mitch Anderson provided a draft of the position’s responsibilities. Anderson described writing the draft as challenging, because it’s a new position that needs to be spread out.

The new position aims to bring in more grant money, as well as take advantage of existing programs by having those responsibilities fall under one position, and not be stretched across different staff.

Anderson said the district isn’t capitalizing on dollars that are there, or using existing programs as efficiently as they could.

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“We’ll get a lot more bang for our buck,” he said. “And an overall better experience and better options for students.”

The district is initially posting the position internally, before looking for outside candidates. Anderson hoped to have someone in place to officially hire before the Aug. 14 board meeting.

Gymnastics update

Anderson then gave the board a brief update on the status of the proposed new gymnastics, locker room and storage facility across the street from Heart of the Lakes Elementary. The gymnastics group is negotiating a final cost figure with Hammer’s Construction. Initial ballpark estimates are around $3.5 to 3.7 million, but that number is trying to be lowered to $3 million.

Anderson reiterated the gymnastics group is financing the building’s construction with the district planning to lease the storage and locker room side of the building. Once the gymnastics group has made all payments, then ownership of the entire building will go to the district.