The Heart of the Lakes Elementary School in Perham is gearing up for its kitchen remodel project. Perham-Dent School Board members approved the architectural and engineering project services on Wednesday, April 14.

The board approved BHH Partners’ services for $58,500. The services include project specifications, structural, mechanical and electrical engineering, interior design, and kitchen consultant services. There could be additional costs if the district decides to add other services.

The estimated cost for the remodel is $650,000.

Superintendent Mitch Anderson outlined the schedule as bids being available in mid-April, bids opening in mid-May and the project beginning by June 1. The plan is to have the project complete by the start of the 2021-22 school year, though making meals in the high school kitchen is an option.

The main possible issue is backorders for equipment like the walk-in freezers and coolers, Anderson said. A majority of the appliances will continue to be used.

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The project will help with the lunch lines and eating area traffic flow as well as add two hot and two cold serving stations, as buildings manager Russ Winkels said in his report to the board.

Other business discussed by the board:

  • An addition of a physical education/developmental adapted physical education teacher for K-12 as well as a literacy coach at the elementary school. The board approved the posting and hiring for the positions.

  • Approved the projected enrollment for 2021-22 as 1,539 students. The 2020-21 enrollment is at 1,499 students. Enrollment helps set the school’s budget.

  • Approved the district’s new audit firm as Eide Bailly. The district has previously been with BradyMartz for 12 years. School business manager Kristi Werner said the change is to have additional information included in the board presentation. The services are about $1,500 more than BradyMartz. The agreement is for three years, though the district can choose to end services at the end of each year, as Werner said.

  • The prom is on April 24 at Perham Lakeside. A farewell procession outside the high school at 8 p.m. is open to spectators.

  • An Ojibwe program for students and parents is April 26-May 26 from 6:30-8:30 p.m. on Wednesdays. The program will include Ojibwe language lessons and cultural teachings in the evenings on Zoom.

  • The elementary school is hosting a Color Run for Mental Health Awareness Month on May 3 and 5. Registration closes on April 16.

  • The next school board meeting is scheduled for May 12 at 5 p.m. in the high school media center.