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Detroit Lakes High School expected to be ready for fall classes

New Detroit Lakes High School Principal Josh Omang gave the district school board a brief construction update at the board's regular meeting Monday morning. The new 9th Grade Academy wing is nearly finished and ready for teachers to begin moving in, while construction at the new gymnasium is slated to be finished in time for the winter sports season.

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Construction crews are hard at work finishing up improvements planned at Detroit Lakes High School this summer. (Vicki Gerdes / Tribune)
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Detroit Lakes High School is a hive of activity this summer, as construction crews strive to have the upgraded facilities ready for the start of fall classes in September.

New high school Principal Josh Omang gave the district school board a brief construction update at its Monday morning meeting.

"It's going good," he said, adding that the new 9th Grade Academy wing is done and ready for teachers to begin moving in next month.

Other areas that are slated to be completed this summer are the new student commons and renovations to existing classrooms, including new paint and carpeting.

The new gymnasium, however, won't be finished until November. "It'll be ready for the winter sports season," Omang said after the meeting.

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Final completion of the high school renovations is slated for next summer, he added. A total of $32.3 million has been spent on renovations to the high school site, which accounts for a little more than half of the overall $62 million cost of renovations and additions to district facilities.

A total of $53,448 in change orders was approved at the meeting.

In other business, the board discussed the possibility of making a time capsule for when construction is completed. Superintendent Mark Jenson said that they could take their time deciding what to put in it, as it could be done "any time."

Also at Monday's meeting, Omang gave an overview of his plans for improving the overall building culture at the high school. He talked about implementing a system known as BARR, which stands for "Building Assets, Reducing Risks." He said it would be a three-year implementation process, with the aim of reducing "failures" (F grades for students) by 35%.

Toward the end of the meeting, School Board Chairwoman Amy Erickson called for a closed session to do an evaluation of Superintendent Jenson's performance in his first year. Erickson said after the meeting that this closed session involved a board discussion only; at the August meeting, they will be doing another closed session to discuss their findings with Jenson before releasing the evaluation to the public.

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