9/17/2019 10:17:00 AM Historic $13-million building project gets underway with a fall 2020 completion date
Change is in the air at Mt. Lake Public, and in the ground and everywhere else. The big news is a building project at the school - the largest since a 1970 renovation that added elementary classrooms and a library among other remodels and additions.
Voters approved removing 23,000 square feet in the oldest part of the campus - the 1904 building - and replacing it with 15,000 square feet of new space in the high school and a new 2,200-square-foot two-classroom addition in the elementary.
Plans are to put a physics and chemistry classroom, biology classroom, girls' locker room, restrooms, flexible learning space and weight room into the former 1904 section. The choir room, on the third floor of the 1904 building, and band room will move to the former pool area. The auditorium will undergo extensive renovation.
The plan calls for replacing the red seats and creating adequate room for handicapped spectators. The sound and lighting systems are slated to be replaced.
The career and technical rooms will be updated and the greenhouse will move to an outdoor location. The new elementary classrooms to be built on the northeast side of the school replace the area lost when a kindergarten classroom expanded to accommodate rising enrollment.
The new classrooms will provide adequate space so special education classrooms can relocate from the 1904 building to the elementary school. There will be secure vestibule entrances at both the elementary and high school. The telephone, intercom and fire alarm systems will receive updates and a sprinkler system will be installed.
Teachers and students are excited about the building project, according to the school principals and staff. School year highlights Elementary principal Jon Schwaegerl commented on a program that rewards students for showing positive behavior.
Called the "Wolverine Way," staff enjoyed catching students in the act of behaving in a positive manner. Students received tickets for official recognition and rewards.
A reward for teachers, called the Golden Apple Award (sponsored by KEYC News 12 and Bethany Lutheran College of Mankato), was bestowed upon first-grade teacher Stacey Stade, who was nominated by a parent. The award recognizes people who make a difference in education. Popular with everyone, Math Night offers fun activities for parents and K-2 students, plus a pizza meal.
High school Principal Michelle Larson said it was a great year for many groups: choirs, band ensembles and soloists captured top awards; FFA small animals team earned a trip to nationals; sports teams had a standout year with the football team competing at state, a wrestler capturing a Class A state championship, softball going to the section finals and track achieving record numbers of participants advancing to sections; One-Act Play got second place at section competition; and a member of the speech team advanced to the section meet.
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