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Perham School District looks ahead at projects for next ten years

The school board discussed the Long Term Facilities Maintenance Plan at their meeting on Wednesday, Sept. 14. A project timeline will be known in a few months.

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Heart of the Lakes Elementary's new kitchen is just about complete.
Elizabeth Vierkant / Perham Focus
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PERHAM — With more than 1,600 students enrolled in the Perham Public School District for the first time in years, and to qualify for Long-Term Facilities Maintenance revenue, the school board approved a ten-year Long Term Facilities Maintenance Plan at their meeting on the evening of Wednesday, Sept. 14. With the Heart of the Lakes Elementary kitchen remodel mostly complete, the district now wants to focus on future maintenance work.

The district has a facility project list of about 25-35 items. This includes all kinds of spaces from academic to office to activities areas. The district is currently focusing on finding revenue streams for each of these projects.

While nothing is set in stone yet, the Prairie Wind Middle School office and classroom spaces are most pressing for maintenance updates. A full timeline for the project list will likely be approved by either December or January.

The maintenance plan timeline

At the meeting, the board handed out the following timeline:

  • October: Meet with facility committee
    • Look at funding streams and budgets, discuss projects and prioritization, and implement project timeline development.
  • November: Another facility committee meeting and a school board work session
    • Develop a long-range plan recommendation and discuss facility committee recommendations.
  • December: School board meeting
    • Possible project list, timeline and funding approvals

Once complete, this plan won't be set in stone and can be modified as needed. It will likely be changed many times throughout ten years, Superintendent Mitch Anderson said.

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Other items discussed

  • The kitchen remodel and new sensory room in Heart of the Lakes are mostly complete. The school is still waiting on a few items for the sensory room.
  • The elementary school recently introduced the HOTL Care Closet, which allows students and families in need to access essentials such as clothing and toiletries.
  • HOTL's old gym/eating area is getting updated with the removal and re-striping of the floor, new basketball backboards and a softball/baseball net, some wall padding and an updated sound system.
  • Perham High School is focusing on support services for students. They plan to provide more opportunities for them through the Work Based Learning and Youth Skills Training programs.
  • Permanent fencing and a new scoreboard will be installed at Matt's Field. Superintendent Mitch Anderson said the construction work won't impede too much on activities.
  • 309 students are officially registered for fall activities, which is on track for the typical fall average.
  • The ALC has more students than is typical for the beginning of the year, which they believe to be a good thing. This will allow them to help students who need it as soon as possible.
  • The preliminary levy is reported to be about 5% lower than before. Adjustments will be made prior to the final levy by December.
  • Homecoming will be Oct. 3-7.
  • The next school board meeting is Wednesday, Oct. 12, at 5 p.m. in the Perham High School media center.
Elizabeth (she/her), 23, graduated with a degree in Journalism and Communications from the University of Wisconsin–Stout in 2020. Elizabeth has always had a passion for telling stories about people and specializes in community features, which she uses for her Perham-centered content.
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