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

By Lois E Johnson
Moose Lake Star-Gazette 

Moose Lake School looking at future needs


November 1, 2018

Two staff members of ICS, the firm that is assisting with planning the proposal for the athletic complex, Early Childhood playground and completing other needs at the Moose Lake Community School met with the students, staff and school board on Tuesday, Oct. 23 in listening sessions.

Glenn Chiodo and Lynn Dyer, who were both former educators, asked five open-ended questions of each group. The ICS staff had met with the students in one session and the school staff in another session earlier in the day, and with the school board that evening.

“Each group has a different lens that they look through,” said Dyer. “Generally speaking, there are commonalities.”

The first question asked, “What do you like about your new school?”

The answers that the board members provided included security, auditorium, commons, and so forth.

The second question asked, “What were the challenges you faced going through the new school project?”

Answers included working with the construction manager and similar challenges.

The third question was, “What enhancements would you like to see to make your school even better?”

The list from the board members included: more parking lots, finish the athletic fields, stadium seating at the football field/track, field house (storage, lockers rooms, public restrooms, concessions) made out of block instead of a steel building, cloverleaf practice fields for softball and baseball, artificial turf, scoreboards, stadium lighting on the track and football field, press box, fencing, mini pavilion (picnic shelter), ECFE playground with fencing, shrubs, handicap accessible pathway from Konieska Road to the complex, signage, goal posts for the football field, perimeter road, cross country and ski trail system, and upgrades to the boys locker room.

The fourth question was, “What are your expectations from this process?”

Answers were: Accurate cost estimates for the various portions of the project, good communication with the public, and to finish the project, as well as other answers.

The board members were assured by Chiodo that the board would be involved in all phases of the planning project.

The board members were asked to prioritize the items on the list of projects.

The items that came out as the highest choices were the parking lots, cloverleaf ball fields, press box, cross country/ski trails, and field house.

The items that received the next highest priority were: finish completion of the athletic fields and the ECFE playground. Bleachers and perimeter road/fire lane came in third in the list of priorities.

“These are by no means final,” said Chiodo. “It is not that the other projects aren’t important.”

One of the board members asked about the process that was being used. He said that he thought that they would give cost estimates for each portion of the project and the board could go from there in planning.

“There is a price tag out there but it is not a given yet,” said Chiodo. “It is better to start from the ground floor and go up. We try to be careful that you do not set too much of a Christmas list and then not get as many presents as you want.”

The same questions will be asked of the public during a listening session set for Tuesday, Nov. 13, at 6 p.m. in the school commons.

The results of all of the listening sessions will be complied and presented to the school board at its monthly meeting on Dec. 17.


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