The Fergus Falls Public Schools would like to thank the Minnesota Motor Company for sponsoring the football game on Friday, September 22. Minnesota Motor Company and Heartland Chevy Dealers have paid for everyone’s ticket — so everyone gets into Friday night’s game FREE! They are inviting the community to come out and cheer on the Otters – as the team takes on the East Grand Forks!

Prior to the game, you are also invited to stop by their tailgate area, in the parking lot near the tennis courts, for free hot dogs and lawn games.

Strong enrollment

The Fergus Falls Public Schools gained student enrollment again this year. The 2,938 student enrollment number is a slight increase (eight students) in our buildings and another 65-plus increase in our iQ Academy online school. Our kindergarten class is one of the largest in years with 207 students. With the additional staff members hired over the spring and summer, our section size in our elementary classes is in the low to mid 20s.

History of our buildings

The Long-Term Facility Committee (LTFC) will meet for the first time at 6 p.m. on Sept. 25. The reason this committee is being formed is to be prepared for our increasing number of students. The first item of business is to tour our existing facilities. We will start at the Cleveland School, followed by McKinley, Adams and the Heritage Building. On Oct. 23, the LTFC will tour Kennedy Secondary School and Roosevelt Education Center.

Elementary schools

Adams School was opened in 1939 and was originally 21,484 square feet. There were additions and/or extensive remodeling in 1956, 1960, 1970 and 1994. The current square footage is 40,521. The roof is being resurfaced this fall and the HVAC system is proposed to be replaced in the summer of 2018. Adams currently houses six sections of first grade and eight sections of second grade.

McKinley School was also built in 1939. The original square footage was 10,815. A classroom addition in 1956 and the gym addition in 1994 has seen McKinley grow to 36,657 square feet. The HVAC was redone in 2015. Nine sections of kindergarten and two sections of first grade reside at McKinley.

Cleveland School was built in 1957, and had 20,280 square feet. Remodeling and additions took place in 1960, 1984, 1990 and in 2008 a 21,070 square foot addition was added. The 2008 addition included eight classrooms, a gym and expanded the HVAC system. All three elementary schools have geothermal HVAC systems and newer handicap accessible playgrounds. Starting this fall, Cleveland houses eight sections of third and fourth grade — with the fifth grade moving to Kennedy Secondary School.

Kennedy Secondary School

The Washington Middle School burned down and was replaced by the Fergus Falls Middle School in 1968. The Middle School was reconstructed in 2010 into a 300,000 square foot building (Kennedy Secondary School) which currently houses the 5-8 grade middle school and the 9-12 grade high school.

Roosevelt Education Center

The Roosevelt Education Center (former Fergus Falls High School building) has undergone many transitions since it was built in 1953. The college wing was added in 1960, followed by the vocational wing in 1967. The small engine shop was built in 1978 and an addition to the auto shop was completed in 1981. Music rooms were added in 1984 and the science and media rooms were added in 1994. The Fergus Falls Community Ice Arena was built in 2012 in partnership with the city of Fergus Falls and booster clubs. Overall, the District has 582,000 square feet of buildings.

Jerry Ness is the Fergus Falls School District superintendent. His column appears each Wednesday.

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