Construction continues as school year approaches

They are chewing their fingernails at Maple Lake High School as remodeling continues and the start of school draws near.

“Currently, we are in the midst of a major mess,” said Superintendent Ken Engel, “but we are eager for the completion of the construction projects.”

Classroom furniture and supplies still line the halls of the school and considerable work remains to be done in areas such as the auditorium, choir and band rooms as part of a $3.5 million remodeling project approved by the voters in a referendum last fall. But Engel said that although some projects won’t be completed by the start of school on September 3, classrooms will be ready and parents and students will be pleased with what they see.

Most visible from Highway 55 is construction work on the auditorium, which will provide a new exit from the basement dressing rooms to meet fire codes. The auditorium is also receiving a new ventilation system, curtains, carpet, paint and additional lighting.

In the music area, new floors and ceilings are being installed, along with a new ventilation system that includes air-conditioning. New outside exits from the band and choir rooms will also help the school meet fire codes.

A new ventilation system throughout the school will eliminate air quality problems caused by moisture from the old tunnel system. All classrooms in the oldest portion of the high school have received face lifts, which include new tile floors, new ceilings, paint and refinished cabinets. Locker rooms are being renovated and new Irish green bleachers have been installed in the gymnasium.

Exterior improvements will include overlaying or seal coating of parking areas, repair and resurfacing of the tennis courts, replacing the sidewalk in front of the elementary entrance and repairing and seal coating Centennial Playground.

In addition, $100,000 has been allocated to computer upgrades and a Fitness Center will be created in the current weight room and two adjoining rooms.

The School Board is also reviewing proposed projects for the remaining bond funds, which include a list of repairs to the elementary building.

“We believe that we can positively impact student performance by providing a warm, inviting physical environment,” Engel said. “When this summer’s construction projects are completed, we will have made tremendous progress toward this goal.”