At a Feb. 8, 2021 work session streamed live on Facebook, the McGregor School Board heard a presentation from Russ Schumacher of Nexus about the finalized plans for the district’s construction project.
Residents of the district voted to approve the construction and updates to the school. Blueprints are now out for bids, which will be opened at 11 a.m. on Feb. 25.
Schumacher oversees the design side of Nexus. He gave an update to board members on the status of the project, to assure them that they are getting what the voters voted to support. Eight design meetings have taken place in finalizing the plans. Twelve user groups were brought in during the process to provide input on the their needs for their areas of the building, once the floor plan was pulled together. Nexus had 25 of those stakeholder/user group input meetings.
THE SITE PLAN
The north parking lot will be crack sealed and restriped.
Sidewalks around the perimeter were repaired and the playground will have a new concrete surface. The trail where the existing bus garage is located will be paved. The south side of the football field will have a new paved ADA access bringing people to those spaces.
Utility-wise, a new storm sewer will come in from the east, as well as a new sanitary sewer pipe.
The new bus garage will have a meeting space inside, along with a lunch room and restrooms. The design includes an indoor service and wash bay. Propane and fuel tanks had to be relocated, and new sanitary sewer and water lines brought into the new bus garage.
The school’s new early childhood addition reflects the needs identified by the people who work in that area. Three early childhood classrooms, a small conference room, restroom and drop-off area will be constructed on the east side.
Some spaces are being renovated and repurposed. Twenty-first century learning areas and office spaces are among those having major remodeling done. Painting is part of the renovation, as is some flooring replacement, especially in hallways.
Technical education and shop room sight lines have been improved by the addition of windows, sinks and separations to allow clean areas to be connected by a door, but separated by glass partitions.
The media center was opened up and some breakout areas separated by dividers were added.
The STEM room is going in across from the IT office.
On the second floor, a new media and library center was opened up to the commons area below, and connected by a broad staircase (see photo page 1).
The third floor has a multiple use classroom area and a mechanical room. The elevator remains unchanged, but a ramp has been added to access the areas not accessible by elevator.
Schumacher said the blueprints are currently out for bids; bids will be opened at 11 a.m. on Feb. 25. Documents can be accessed through Pro-Cor. Project occupancy is anticipated to be April 21, 2021.
Superintendent Brad Johnson said county COVID-19 numbers are at their lowest since November 2020. Six school age students in Aitkin are ill, but there are no new cases.
Aitkin County Public Health came in at the end of January and vaccinated 70 staff members; second shots for those folks are scheduled. Biweekly COVID-19 tests are still taking place, even though people are being vaccinated, said Johnson.
About 40 staff members chose not to take the vaccine at this time; some of those had been vaccinated at other places. Johnson said that one or two staff members who were not at school on the days that the clinic was held were able to go over to Aitkin and get their shots.
The next regular meeting of the McGregor School Board will be in the school auditorium on Feb. 22 at 6 p.m.