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School cleared for employee use

Pequot Lakes Schools Superintendent Chris Lindholm said Monday night, Aug. 26, that new facilities at the middle level and high school building have been cleared for staff use, and clearance for student use is expected within the week.

Tim Robertson, construction project manager from ICS Consulting, said the building has gained temporary occupancy, which will allow staff and teachers to prepare their rooms. The school is still not open to the public except in the gym and middle level areas, where sports practice and summer school have already been taking place.

Lindholm said certificate of occupancy is a document that shows that all other inspections have passed, including kitchen inspections from the department of health and other life safety inspections.

The Pequot Lakes School Board met Monday night, Aug. 26, to review the school construction project as a whole and tour the facilities. The board acknowledged that the project has been a six- to seven-year process that’s coming to completion.

Scott Johnson, superintendent for ICS consulting, told the board that $6 million in construction is a typical amount for a summer season, but more than $20 million was completed in the district over two summers.

Wold architect for the project, Vaugn Dierks, said the project was bid at a good time, and since that bidding construction costs have risen. Dierks also told the board of the highlights of the building design.

The media center, he said, has a lockdown system that allows books, materials and electronics to be locked after hours but keeps meeting room facilities open for use. He said the new gym is quite possibly the largest in the region, and the school was built with numerous commons areas.

Dierks said every middle school grade area is connected to the media center, and daylight was brought into interior rooms as well as exterior rooms. Hallways create a loop all the way around the school, and the new brick used on the exterior was designed to be cohesive with the existing look.

The district plans an open house and dedication for the school Thursday, Sept. 12. Admission to that night’s volleyball game will be free and free popcorn will be provided.

School board members will lead tours through the entire facility from 6-7 p.m. and a dedication ceremony will be held at 7 p.m.

Admission to the football game will also be free Friday, Sept. 12, with popcorn and tours provided from 6-7 p.m.