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Construction work on new high school approaching completion

Members of the Perham-Dent school board looked over the progress in the senior high gymnasium during a tour of the new building last Wednesday. Brian Hansel/FOCUS

Workmen could be found in every section of the new high school building last Wednesday evening as the Perham-Dent School Board took a tour guided by BHH Partners Architect Chad Bormann and later by ICS Owner's Rep Jeff Flettre.

Many of the school's classrooms are finished, a maple floor has been placed on the gymnasium floor, and most of the school will soon be ready for a walk through and cleaning.

"We're very happy," Perham Superintendent Mitch Anderson said as he reviewed the progress. "It's going to be a mad rush here for a couple of weeks, but we're looking forward to early August and starting to settle in."

Between support staff and faculty hirees, Anderson expects the district to have about 20 newcomers aboard for the start of the 2018-2019 school year. The high school's student enrollment is expected to be in the 450 range when classes start in September.

"In late August we'll have our orientations and open houses, and then the public and everyone will get a chance to come in and see some things, so it's exciting," Anderson said.

The board disposed of their July agenda before the tour of the 151,000-square foot facility.

Heart of the Lakes Elementary Principal Jen Hendrickson informed the board that fundraising efforts should soon spawn a full-sized outdoor basketball court with six backboards. Hendrickson also mentioned the administration is in the process of getting bids for the project.

The board approved employment agreements with High School Cleaners Robert Blauert and William Hansen, High School Media Center Paraprofessional Kjersten Hunt, Elementary Instructor Taylor Reichel, High School Kitchen Assistant Priscilla Kiel, Elementary Physical Education Instructor Tana Teschendorf and K-12 ESL (English as a Second Language) Instructor Maria Soto. The board also dissolved a cooperative agreement in the girls' swimming program with Frazee-Vergas.

Included in new business was the authorization of Kristi Werner and Francine Guck to make electronic transfers, approval of a resolution to adopt the district's long-term Facilities Maintenance Plan, approval of a board-approved levy, approval of an MSCTC Post Secondary Option Administration Contract and approval of a lead in the water, paint and soil review.

The board set Aug. 15 as their next meeting date.