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LP-A close to moving into new high school building

It was a curious sight that greeted visitors at Monday night's Lake Park-Audubon School Board meeting in the media center at LP-A High School.

Instead of the usual rows of bookshelves and computer desks that had stood in the media center throughout the school year, there were stacks upon stacks of boxes and dismantled shelves leaning up against the walls.

It was tangible evidence that the official move-in date at the new high school site off Highway 10 is now less than a month away.

July 17 is the date targeted for teachers and staff to begin the process of moving class materials, furniture and equipment over to the new high school, with the process expected to be completed on or before July 27.

"It's beginning to look a lot like a school building," said LP-A School Superintendent Dale Hogie at Monday night's meeting, referring to ongoing construction at the new site, which is targeted for "substantial completion" by June 30.

A few last-minute improvements to the new school site were approved at Monday night's meeting, including perimeter fencing around the school athletic fields and a reconfiguration of the softball and baseball fields to allow for future development of an additional field.

Though not all of the athletic fields will be ready for use in the coming school year, the entire complex will now be enclosed with a five-foot fence that will be used to prevent unauthorized access to the area.

Though the softball and baseball fields are not expected to be completed in time for use next year, they will be seeded with turf grass, noted board member Bryan Anderson.

"We need to protect that investment," he noted.

A total of approximately 3,668 linear feet of fencing will be installed around the athletic field complex, at a projected cost of $9 per linear foot, or approximately $39,690.

The board also approved a site plan change to allow for reconfiguration of the proposed softball and baseball field area that will provide space for the possible future development of an additional athletic field.

This field could be adapted as a JV or junior high baseball or softball field, or for physical education classes, Hogie noted. The estimated cost of developing the field would be about $34,700.

In other business, the board approved hiring Claire Steinke as a visual arts teacher for the high school, and Kurtis Ketterl as a maintenance supervisor-head custodian for the district.

The district has received word that LP-A Elementary Principal Sam Skaaland's application for $62,731 in grant funding for Alternative Delivery of Specialized Instructional Services in 2012-13 has been approved.

As a result, the contracts of four probationary teachers whose salaries were funded through the grant were reinstated at Monday's meeting.

The contracts that were reinstated included those of teachers Sandy Vetter (.4 FTE), Tammy Langworthy (.28 FTE), Carol Ricke (.28 FTE) and LeeAnn Buttino (.28 FTE).

Also at Monday's meeting, the board approved installation of full Wi-Fi Internet access at the LP-A Elementary building by PC Mall Gov., Inc., at a cost of $12,600.

Previously, Wi-Fi had only been enabled in certain parts of the building, but with this service the Internet will now be fully accessible from anywhere in the building, with a laptop or other Wi-Fi enabled device. (The high school will also be fully Wi-Fi-enabled when it opens.

Also at Monday's meeting, the board approved a preliminary district budget for Fiscal Year 2013. The projected budget includes $6.53 million in revenues, and $6.35 million in expenditures, for a projected surplus of about $180,000, according to Hogie.

Vicki Gerdes

Staff writer at Detroit Lakes Newspapers for the past 16 years, currently editor of the entertainment and community pages as well as covering city council and the Lake Park-Audubon School Board. Living in DL with my cat, Smokey.

(218) 844-1454