School to bring similar renovation project to voters [UPDATED]Published 11:07am Friday, July 19, 2013 Updated 11:08am Friday, July 19, 2013
PELICAN RAPIDS — School leaders are planning to bring a $21- to $22-million renovation project to voters in the fall.
The referendum is similar to the one defeated in March. It would add science labs, eight junior high classrooms, a new gym that would include a three-lane walking track, auditorium, wrestling and weight room areas, numerous safety features and a revised parking lot and school entrance.
The walking track would be a community asset, said board member Dena Johnson, noting it would be open to public use to tie in with city health initiatives.
The plan also calls for moving the sixth grade from Viking Elementary to the junior high school in the future because the elementary school is running out of classroom space, according to Superintendent Deb Wanek.
The school has met with a consultant and was expected to discuss the project Tuesday in order to meet the filing date and other deadlines by late August to allow the fall date.
In anticipation of future space needs, the school board is also looking at purchasing several homes and lots on the west side of the high school, according to The Press.
It has already bought one home and is looking to purchase three others. The board has been working with one owner for about a year, but may have to consider taking one apartment building by eminent domain if an agreement cannot be reached.