News Column

New London-Spicer School Board approves next step in building process

June 12, 2014

By Gretchen Schlosser, West Central Tribune, Willmar, Minn.

June 12--NEW LONDON -- The New London-Spicer School Board on Monday took another step toward asking district voters to fund approximately $14 million in building projects, including a performing arts center, gymnasium and fitness space and remodeling at three school buildings.

The board unanimously approved presenting the projects to the community. The action, according to Superintendent Paul Carlson, also means the architect can begin work on detailed drawings and sketches of the projects. The district is working with Paul Youngquist of Rego and Youngquist Inc. of St. Louis Park.

The estimated $14.63 million includes a 21,890-square foot, 650-seat performing arts center at a cost of $6.75 million and adding a two-court gymnasium and fitness center/walking track for $6.35 million. Both additions would be on the high school building, with the arts center sharing the lobby with the high school gymnasium, Carlson said.

The estimate also includes about $1 million in improvements to Prairie Woods Elementary and $500,000 in improvements at the middle school/high school. The work would remodel spaces at the elementary school to meet current instructional uses and would also include relocating the nurses' offices at the middle and high schools into one office that can be accesses by both groups of students, Carlson said.

There will be community meetings about the building projects, he said, and anyone seeking more information is welcomed at school board meetings. District officials will also be making presentations to community organizations.

Based on the community's feedback, the board will determine if the bond issue to fund the projects will be on the November ballot. Action on the call for election is expected at the Aug. 11 board meeting.

The board will also call for election of board members at the same meeting, Carlson said. The board seats currently held by Robert Moller, Helena Lungstrom, Holli Cogelow Ruter and Dan DeGeest are up for election. The filing period for seeking election to the board is July 29 to Aug. 12.

In other action, the board approved a bid of $103,950 from RJ Mechanical Inc. for heating, ventilation and air conditioning improvements at Prairie Woods. The bid was less than the anticipated cost of $126,000 for the work, which will be completed in July and August.


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Source: West Central Tribune (Willmar, MN)

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