School construction projects progressing

A new entrance will greet Lakeaires Elementary students when they return in the fall. — Photo by Paul Dols

WHITE BEAR LAKE — Construction at Lakeaires and Willow Lane elementary schools are the most substantial projects underway this summer in District 624.

However, there also are a number of smaller projects occurring at schools this summer.

District building and grounds supervisors gave the District 624 School Board its annual update during the July 14 board meeting.

At Lakeaires and Willow Lane, new entrances, main offices, gymnasiums and kindergarten rooms are being constructed. The new, more secure entryway areas will funnel visitors into the new office area. At both schools, the former office is being converted into a kindergarten classroom. The projects are on track to be substantially complete by the end of August, according to Building Operations Supervisor Dan Roeser. The gymnasium additions should be completed in November, he said.

A few spaces at other schools also are changing. At Oneka and Otter Lake elementary schools, areas vacated by District 916 are becoming new instructional spaces. At the ALC, a room formerly used for a day care program is becoming a science classroom.

Meanwhile, custodians are giving each school a thorough cleaning, a contract crew is doing painting, equipment maintenance projects are occurring and many lights are being replaced to improve energy efficiency, according to Roeser and Maintenance Operations Supervisor Scott Larson.

Outside the buildings, a number of landscaping and field improvements are underway and planned, Grounds Supervisor Kevin Fernandez told the board. Projects include new landscaping and benches near the entrance of Lincoln Elementary School. Athletic field irrigation systems also soon will be updated with a centralized control system that will reduce water consumption.

— Kristine Goodrich

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