Perham schools get ready for summer facilities projects, including kitchen remodel at HOTL – Perham Focus

PERHAM — With summer break right around the corner, the Perham-Dent School District is gearing up for summer construction and improvement projects at Heart of the Lakes Elementary School and Perham High School.

The elementary project, a kitchen remodel that will help with foot traffic and cost $1.4 million

, is already about to begin in order to be complete prior to the start of next school year.

A smaller project, to fix a flooring issue at the Hive, will begin this summer and should only take a couple of weeks.

At the elementary school, construction workers with

CoBuilt Construction Services

will start staging and prepping on the outside of the building over the next two weeks, Superintendent Mitch Anderson said. About 15–20 spaces in the staff parking lot on the north side of the building will be blocked off from now through the summer. Anderson said that area is considered a service road, so nothing will be disturbed as far as public traffic goes.

In the last week of school, workers will start interior prep in the kitchen. Food will be prepared in the middle school kitchen and then brought over to the elementary school on those days.

Throughout June and July, CoBuilt will complete typical construction. All summer school food will be prepared in the high school and middle school.

Anderson said the district hopes for construction to be complete by mid-August so the kitchen will be completely ready for the start of school in September.

Drawing of planned kitchen remodel.

A preliminary drawing of the kitchen remodel and expansion project at Heart of the Lakes Elementary School.

Contributed / Perham Public Schools

“Our summers are filled with getting the buildings cleaned up and ready,” Anderson said, explaining that they try to complete all maintenance in summertime to avoid school disruptions. “We’re probably busier in the summer than the school year — getting everything prepped and ready.”

The smaller project, at the Hive, is already financially covered. The vinyl strips and decals on the gym floor bubble and peel off when the school applies a maintenance and seal coat in the summer, Anderson said; they assume this is a chemical reaction.

In order to fix the issue, workers will remove the vinyl decals and replace them with traditional paint and stain. This will have a good look but won’t have the chemical reaction problems, Anderson said. The project will likely take a couple of weeks. They hope to have it done early in the summer for tournaments and fall sports.

The projects were discussed at a school board meeting on Wednesday, May 11. Also discussed at that meeting were the following:

  • Liz Johnson, principal at Heart of the Lakes Elementary School, will be leaving her position at the end of the school year. She thanked the board for the opportunity. The board will discuss interviews for the position in June.
  • The Heart of the Lakes Daddy/Daughter Dance and Mother/Son Date Night both had over 150 attendees.
  • Preliminary MCA test scores at Prairie Wind Middle School show an increase. Official test scores will be out in the summer.
  • The school board approved a one-year technology agreement with Lakes Country Service Cooperative. Throughout the 2022–23 school year, the board will discuss whether they want to keep servicing out or move technology services in-house.
  • The 2022 Perham High School graduation ceremony will be Friday, May 27 at 7 p.m. at the Hive. All are welcome to attend.
  • The next school board meeting will be Wednesday, June 8 at 5 p.m. in the Perham High School media center.

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