by Dennis Dalman
The Sartell-St. Stephen School District school buildings – in some areas sagging and wrinkled – are undergoing long-overdue face-lifts, thanks to money authorized by voters in last year’s referendum.
Most of the projects throughout the district have already begun and should be finished by the time school starts next fall.
The following are the projects now underway or to begin in July:
Phase I began June 6 and will eventually make possible relocation of the district’s Early Childhood programs from Oak Ridge Elementary to the District Office Building, as it’s known. That building, many decades old, was the original Sartell School, grades kindergarten through eighth grade. Starting next year, all of the Early Childhood facilities, including spacious classrooms will be located in the District Office Building. The project involves some demolition and the extensive remodeling of the south and north wings.
The Sartell Senior Connection, an organization for senior citizens, is also expected to be located – at least temporarily – once again in the District Office building.
New roofs are now being laid down at Sartell Middle School and Sartell High School. Both projects also involve the addition of insulation for energy efficiency and improved drainage. During construction, carbon filters have been inserted into the school’s air system so as to prevent the acrid odor of tar and other roofing materials from entering the buildings.
At the middle school, one end of the roof will be finished this summer. The rest will be done in the summer of 2013. All of the roofing on Sartell High School, which was laid down when the school was built in 1993, will be replaced.
Track and Courts
The old eight-lane athletic track, now nearly 40 years old, was in a cracked, decrepit, weed-ruined condition.
The new track will be a nine-lane (meter – rather than yard) track and will be built further to the east, which will require re-centering of the football field. The tennis courts, plus the track, will all be surfaced with a coat of tar by July 1. That coating will take 30 days to cure before the state-of-the-art running and track surfaces can be laid down.
The football field will be re-sodded and is expected to be ready for the start of football season in the autumn of 2012.
The swimming pool at Sartell High School will be re-plastered staring in mid-July and should be completed by the end of the month.
The gymnasium floor at Pine Meadow Elementary School will be re-coated this summer. The floor of the Sartell Middle School will be replaced with a wood floor.
At Sartell Middle School, an electrical switch gear that provides power all through the building will be replaced and should be ready by the end of July.
Those are the major repairs now being done in the school system. Throughout this summer, the Sartell Newsleader will do a series of stories, with photographs, as the improvements occur.
Author: Dennis Dalman
Dalman was born and raised in South St. Cloud, graduated from St. Cloud Tech High School, then graduated from St. Cloud State University with a degree in English (emphasis on American and British literature) and mass communications (emphasis on print journalism). He studied in London, England for a year (1980-81) where he concentrated on British literature, political science, the history of Great Britain and wrote a book-length study of the British writer V.S. Naipaul. Dalman has been a reporter and weekly columnist for more than 30 years and worked for 16 of those years for the Alexandria Echo Press.