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Top 10 – Construction under way at ELC – School district residents show support for new facilities

By Staff | Dec 27, 2007

ESTHERVILLE–The dust won’t be settling any time soon for the Estherville Lincoln Central School District.

That is precisely what the voters in the district requested with their resounding passage of the bond issue, sales tax extension and PPEL (Physical Plant and Equipment Levy) within the past 12 months.

By hearing the strong voice of voters, crews pushed dirt and will continue for another year or so for the construction of new facilities.

“All of this will help to improve our school district,” said superintendent of schools Dick Magnuson who on behalf of the district thanked the voters for their solid support for school improvements.

“Other school districts don’t get this type of support. Believe me. But our patrons are allowing us to improve our buildings and we are grateful.”

Support from district voters was voiced with:

n 82 percent for the bond issue.

n 93 percent for another 10-year extension of the Local Options Sales Tax.

n 83 percent nod for PPEL.

Ground was turned over Sept. 12 on the northwest corner of Demoney Elementary as crews began preparing the area for the new addition to Demoney Elementary.

“This will help bring our district closer together with the vision of a single campus,” Magnuson said. “It has been projected that with one campus the district can save about $70,000 in transportation costs.”

It is the hope that by the start of the 2008-09 school year, students in first and second grade will be occupying the new addition, a 10-room facility. This first phase is scheduled to be completed before the start of the 2008-09 school year. At that time, the new building will undergo a substantial completion to make sure every check mark has been met.

The space now used for first and second grade classes in the Demoney building will be occupied by Headstart and daycare. These early childhood education programs are currently operating in the basement of the Maniece building of the high school.

They need a new home as the Maniece structure is coming down to make way for the new middle school facility for grades 5 through 8.

Magnuson noted that during the current Christmas vacation, remodeling is under way at the high school. “This remodeling is necessary because the high school teachers in Maniece need to be relocated to other areas in the high school building.”

Classes affected are the math department, social studies and one section of special education.

A March 1 groundbreaking is anticipated for the new middle school construction. This will precede the demolition of the Maniece building.

All remodeling projects at the high school will be completed over summer vacation. High school classrooms will be situated for the start of the 2008-09 school year.

The new middle school will includes 5-8 classrooms for core classes and exploratories, gymnasium/lunchroom, office space, restrooms and the district’s prep kitchen.

“This new middle school will be ready to open its doors for the 2009-2010 school year.”

“Efficiency will be greatly improved with the new structures,” he said. Affordability and efficiency were the request of the voters.

“We went with geothermal for this reason because it is a efficient, cost-effective system we can afford,” Magnuson explained.

“We are proceeding as planned and just like in most construction projects, there have been some barriers but we have been able to move beyond them. We are extremely happy with the project.”