Moose Lake Star Gazette - Serving Carlton and Pine Counties Since 1895

By Lois E. Johnson
Moose Lake Star Gazette 

School construction on schedule


Lois E. Johnson

Students, school staff, parents and members of the public signed three columns that will be installed in the new Moose Lake school on Thursday, April 28. People were asked to sign their names along with the year that they graduated or will graduate. Signatures covered all four sides of the three columns. Pictured, Brady and his grandmother, Inez Syrett, sign the column that will be installed in the new Moose Lake school. Brady will start kindergarten in the fall.

The new school construction is on schedule and just slightly over budget, it was reported to the Moose Lake School Board at a working meeting on Monday, May 2.

Mike Gassert of Boldt Construction, the construction manager, reported the installation of the pre-cast concrete exterior walls of the school would be completed by the end of the week. The roof has been completed in several areas.

The beam-signing project was a huge success, he reported.

Three square columns, painted with a red undercoat, were brought to the current school April 28 and students, staff and community members signed the columns and wrote the year of their graduation ­- past, present and future - by their names.

"When I saw all of the signatures, I was really impressed," said Gassert. "We'll get a picture of those columns when they go into the entrance of the early childhood and administration area."

Superintendent Robert Indihar reported he just received cost estimates for the school construction and was pleased it was only $5,000 to $6,000 over budget.

Katie Hildenbrand and Lindsey Fetzik of Architectural Resources Inc. (ARI) reviewed the interior plans and finishes with the board. The types of flooring throughout the school were discussed once again.

Hildenbrand brought cost estimates for installing carpet in the elementary and early childhood wings instead of the VCT tile, as had been estimated.

"It would increase the cost by $50,000 for both wings," said Hildenbrand.

Hildenbrand also showed two designs for the locker rooms. The latest design had individual showers and changing rooms instead of a gang shower and space to change clothing in an open area.

"I think, on a federal level, the students will get to go into the locker room that they identify with," said Supt. Indihar. "It isn't so much for the transgender kids but others might not be comfortable with being around them. It's not a law yet but it could develop into one."

Hildenbrand said the rough cost of the partitions in the locker rooms would be around $30,000 above the cost of the open locker rooms.

Plans and a budget for the athletic fields were presented by Hildenbrand.

A baseball field, softball field and football field, with a track circling the football field, were shown on the plans. Space for a concession stand and parking for 219 vehicles were included on the plan.

"In the million and a half budget, there would be lighting on each field, fencing and bleachers," she added. "There would not be stadium seating. A hydrant will be installed nearby in the event a concession stand and bathroom facilities were added in the future."

Bids will be called for the fields soon, said Hildenbrand.

There was discussion about the need for a track, which Hildenbrand had estimated at $300,000.

Hildenbrand reviewed the plans for the shop and science section of the high school, and of the kitchen and concession stand, which will be located across from the gym.

A computer room is shown on the plans but Hildenbrand said it could be used as a classroom if there was no need for a computer room. Another classroom space would also be available if there is a need, she added.

The biology, physics and chemistry classrooms would have sinks along the walls and movable furniture. A fume hood and other requirements for the chemistry lab, for example, would be included, as required.

An art room would have space for something such as a darkroom, said Hildenbrand. Display cabinets for art pieces would be located along the main hallway to the high school wing, as will a mosaic bench created by the students.

Jungers recommended a space for students to study located in a hidden corner needed to be made into an office or enclosed and used in some other way for security reasons.

A diagram of where the security cameras would be located in the school was requested.

Hildenbrand and Fetzik showed samples of flooring and Hildenbrand showed a concept of the school logo, at nine feet in diameter, embedded in the terrazzo flooring in the main entrance hallway of the school. Agates will be placed into colored epoxy to create the logo, she said.

The elementary and high school students are collecting and bringing in agates to be placed into the logo, it was said. If not enough agates are collected, additional agates could be purchased from the Carlton County Gem and Mineral Club, said Supt. Indihar.

Fetzik showed samples of other materials and colors that will be used for the walls and floors in various areas of the school.

She was asked to bring in concept drawings of how the recommended colors and surfaces would look.

Supt. Indihar spoke to the board about remodeling the existing bus garage.

The costs and plans for a new five-stall heated bus garage would be included in the budget for the new school.

Plans for the existing bus garage has to be paid for by the school district and would include recladding the exterior with new steel siding, extending the eaves, widening the garage doors, installing wider insulated garage doors, replacing the man door, installing a concrete slab and insulation.

Those costs added up to $107,000, according to one quote, he said.

Quotes had been received by Lindquist of Floodwood and NIE of Grand Rapids.

Supt. Indihar said the school district will receive facilities funds, and $50,000 of those funds could be used for the project, being the current school only needs funds for repairs or replacement.

"But we can't use the facilities funds to change anything," he said. "We can't use them for extending the eaves, or widening the doors or installing insulation."

He was asked to have representatives of the companies that supplied the quotes at the board meeting on May 16 to discuss the issue further.


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