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Perham construction meets unexpected delays

Construction on the PACC Hub project in Perham — a plan to renovate the Perham Area Community Center and rebuild on the old Perham High School's land to create a space for Empowering Kids and the Boys and Girls Club — has been met with some unexpected bumps in the road.

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The Perham Area Community Center (Focus file photo)

Construction on the PACC Hub project in Perham — a plan to renovate the Perham Area Community Center and rebuild on the old Perham High School's land to create a space for Empowering Kids and the Boys and Girls Club — has been met with some unexpected bumps in the road.

At the moment, the aquatic center in the PACC is only open to the high school swim team but will open under temporary approval from the county on Sept. 7 for lap swim and open swim. However, aquatic centers need specific lighting for different activities.

While the aquatic center has been approved for acquiring the proper lighting to hold lap swim and open swim, they don't have enough lighting to hold swim classes until the temporary lighting is in place. To fix this issue, construction workers plan to drill into the wall of the weight and cardio room, which has already been torn up for construction, and put more lights into the aquatic center through there.

Asides from this lighting mix-up, construction on the PACC is still fairly on-schedule. The back half of the building is being prepped for constructing the new entrance and parking lot, which will probably be open around June 2022. The walking track will likely be open in mid-March 2022.

Once winter rolls around, workers plan to work on the therapy pool before starting on the front of the building, so the therapy pool may be open sooner rather than later.

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Construction on the Hub, which is replacing the old Perham High School building, has also been met with a few unexpected set-backs. A delay of material arrival has been an issue throughout construction, and two windows now have large cracks and holes.

Because of this, the move-in date for the Boys and Girls Club into the Hub has been pushed back to around the time of winter break.

Construction one of several items discussed at Perham's Committee of the Whole meeting on the evening of Wednesday, Aug. 26. A few other items discussed are as follows:

  • Rebecca Lynn Peterson with West Central Initiative spoke to the Committee about the organization's comprehensive economic development study. They identified nine priorities for the improvement of said development: workforce development, business development, access to education, resilient infrastructure, housing, transportation, circular agriculture, equity/inclusion and parks and recreation.
  • Mayor Timothy Meehl mentioned that the lack of workforce is the biggest concern in the Perham area development-wise, which the accessibility of childcare in town directly affects. The city has an agreement in place to purchase the Kalina childcare facility following the providers' retirements and lease the facility to Mahube-otwa to continue offering childcare to those who would have lost it with the retirement.
  • The population of Perham increased by about 500 residents, which wasn't as many as some people thought.
  • Several apartment complexes to possibly be constructed in Perham are in the planning stages, including a third 24-unit apartment building as a part of the Grow Perham project.
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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