In its regular meeting Monday, April 20, the Pequot Lakes School Board unanimously agreed to renovate the recently purchased property on West Lake Street (the Echo Journal building, just east of the school), with the expectation that robotics, engineering and construction courses may be relocated there.

The move would free up three full-size classrooms from the high school’s main campus. The district will have help from Wold Architects and Engineers of St. Paul.

“How can we best use the Echo building to meet our needs?” Superintendent Chris Lindholm asked. “How do we address the space crunch we will have at the high school building in the next couple of years? … The best bang for buck would be to take our current robotics class and space, along with engineering and construction, and move that off-site.”

The anticipated cost of renovations is roughly $500,000, which is less than half the cost expected if the district were to add classroom space to the main campus.

That is assuming some of the work be done by students in the construction classes, as opposed to having them build a house.

In other action Monday, the board:

  • Conducted a second reading of two policy revisions - one regarding unpaid meal charges and another regarding service animals in schools. The board will conduct one more reading for each before taking action.

  • Accepted four donations to the district, totalling $4,047.63.

  • Approved the resignation of middle level tennis coach Deanne Trottier; leaves of absence for bus driver/food service worker Chad Hoefs, Eagle View Elementary School teacher Kimberly Swenson and payroll clerk Valerie Swenson; and the hiring of English teacher Maarja Dahl, early childhood special education teacher Jennifer Harves, English teacher Sage Stangel, Spanish teacher Breanna Hattenberger and middle school counselor Stacy Arellano.

The board conducted the meeting remotely via Zoom, which it expects to do at least once more for its work session Monday, May 4.

Dan Determan may be reached at 218-855-5879 or dan.determan@pineandlakes.com. Follow him on Facebook and on Twitter at www.twitter.com/@PEJ_Dan.