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School construction project complete in 2021

Lead Summary
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Mavis Fodness

The Luverne School District finished a five-year building project this fall when classes resumed for a construction-free school year — a first in two years.
Superintendent Craig Oftedahl praised students and staff for their tolerance and cooperation.
“Not only did they assist with the input into the building, they endured the noise and debris from construction,” he said.
“The staff has also been flexible and great to work with throughout the process — many of them moved and packed several times. I feel the end product is really nice, and I think they do as well.”
The district hosted a public open house Sept. 19 to celebrate.
More than half of the 376,500-square-foot middle school-high school received a facelift, and a 41,170-square-foot expansion between the elementary and secondary buildings includes a new commons, kitchen and performing arts center.
Students and staff returned this fall to a 21st century learning environment that includes improved safety and security.
Planning for the project began in 2016.
That summer, school board members met in a workshop setting that included a tour of the 1956 middle-high school.
“I took them to the basement to look at the kitchen facility and that really got ‘the ball rolling,’” Oftedahl recalled.
“I feel the board really wanted to look at upgrading the lunchroom area and creating a commons for students. That snowballed into upgrading and remodeling the middle-high school as it was 60 years old.”
In 2017 district voters approved a $31 million bond for the improvements.
Four years later the school project remains under budget with just under $600,000 earmarked for remaining work, such as terrazzo floor repairs.
The remodel and construction included:
•2,100 gallons of paint.
•52,000 to 62,000 pounds: weight of the precast concrete panels lifted into place for the performing arts center.
•1,400 loads of rubbish, dirt or fill hauled in and out.
•2,000 new LED light fixtures.
•475 light fixtures (310 house and 185 theatrical) are in the performing arts center.
•65 new electrical panels.
•30 miles of data cable and fiber used.
•1,500 electrical receptacles.
•1,600 yards of concrete.

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