Stewartville Public Schools plans to cut class calendar a few days short to get head start on summer projects – Post Bulletin

STEWARTVILLE – The last day of class has been bumped up a few days for students in Stewartville, as their school district plans to begin major renovations at three of its schools.

The projects will take place at Bonner Elementary, the middle school and the high school. The Bear Cave Intermediate school will not receive any of the updates.

The district’s original last day was supposed to be June 3. That date has since been bumped up to May 27.

“These are all things that are end-of-life, or have been extended beyond end-of-life,” Superintendent Belinda Selfors told the school board during a recent meeting. “These are not things that can be ignored. When you have a building that is 40 or 50 years old, you need to do the work to ensure the building is maintained.”

The total cost of the various projects is $12.2 million. Unlike some school districts in the area, however, Stewartville has determined it can bankroll the projects without a referendum.

The Auditorium is seen on Thursday, April 14, 2022, at Stewartville Public Schools in Stewartville, Minnesota. The theatre lighting will be updated.

Traci Westcott / Post Bulletin

According to Selfors, the funding for the project is coming from a number of sources. Some of it will come from the savings of a bond the school refinanced. The district is also using funds from its long term facilities maintenance account, and a couple of other non-referendum funding sources as well.

“We’ve been very, very intentional about using our long term facilities maintenance funds that we get from the state,” Selfors said. “We’ve been very judicious in how we’ve spent those dollars over time.”

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Selfors outlined the project in a letter to the district’s families. It will include upgrades to the lighting, HVAC, interior doors, and restroom partitions at all three schools. It also will include “sealing of the building envelopes,” tuck pointing and control joint repairs at all three of the schools.
The middle school and high school will get new windows, and the middle school gym floor will be replaced.

Bonner Elementary will replace its lockers and the domestic hot water heater, and the domestic water piping will be updated.

Stewartville Public Schools
Sixth-graders play a game during gym class on Thursday, April 14, 2022, at Stewartville Public Schools in Stewartville, Minnesota.

Traci Westcott / Post Bulletin

Overall, 100% of Bonner Elementary’s classrooms, as well as the media center, will be affected by the construction. At the middle school and high school, approximately 65% to 70% of the buildings will be impacted.

The district is hoping to complete the work in the course of the summer, which is why students are losing a few days of school.

Even though the intermediate school is not receiving any of the upgrades, its students will start their summer vacation early just like the rest of the district’s students.

Despite the district is cutting off the last few days of classes, it plans to keep graduation on Sunday, June 5.

“We cannot have a day of delay in that process, so that’s why we thought it was prudent to have students have their last day on May 27,” Selfors said. “The schedule is very tight.”