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Greenhouse, garage, irrigation projects addressed

Photo by Brian Hansel Superintendent Virginia Dahlstrom received a bouquet of flowers from Ann Pate on behalf of the entire District 2155 board Monday night at the June meeting. Dahlstrom is retiring after serving five years as superintendent.

 Forthcoming construction projects were reviewed, approved and tabled Monday evening as the District 2155 school board held its June meeting at Robertson Theatre.

 Construction of the school’s new greenhouse, approved at the May meeting, will begin next week according to WDC Superintendent Virginia Dahlstrom. The XA-240 unit will be 24 feet wide, 32 feet long and eight feet high. The $25,000 project is being financed by grants from the local Elks Lodge and Stimulating Economic Progress (STEP).

 The board approved plans for roof repairs to the WDC elementary school. The separate construction projects will cost the district $77,830.

 Bids for construction of a school garage were submitted by STEM Instructor Mike Shrode. Shrode’s industrial arts class will carry out the building construction beginning in September when school resumes. Short buses and other school vehicles will be housed in the garage. Mark Schmidt Concrete and Northwest Building Supply turned in the lowest bids. Schmidt will pour a slab for the building. Northwest’s lumber bid of $24,459 on the 32x60 foot structure was just $180 lower than Merickel Lumber’s bid.

Building and Grounds Staff Member Mike Kenney asked the board for direction in setting up an irrigation project on the middle/high school grounds. The board will take further action on the project at its July meeting.

In other board business, a new agreement with the Wadena Hockey Association was tabled. Dahlstrom pointed out the agreement with the association is approximately 20 years old and both sides would like to make a new contract.  

“We’d like to see more numbers,” WDC Board Member Wayne Perkins said after the matter was tabled.

The board did approve a $10,000 lease agreement with the Wadena County Agriculture Society for housing the school bus fleet at the Wadena County fairgrounds.

“It has been a win-win situation for both of us,” Dahlstrom noted.  

The June meeting marked the final board gathering for Dahlstrom, who is retiring and moving with her husband, Len, to Mankato. Dahlstrom’s five-year stint as superintendent of District 2155 has been marked by some big changes. The community approved a levy referendum in 2009 after two failed attempts and built a new middle/senior high school after an F4 tornado struck Wadena on June 17, 2010.

“We have done a lot in the last five years it has been a really good place to be,” Dahlstrom said. “I feel really proud how the school board, the community and the staff has come together.” Dahlstrom is turning over administrative leadership of the district to Lee Westrum, who begins a three-year contract July 1.

The board approved the hiring of Jessica Anderson as Food and Consumer Science (FACS) instructor and Tracy Fruechte to teach one of the district’s five kindergarten sections. It also approved the resignation of Vicki Smith from her job as girls’ tennis coach and a child care leave for Kali Matthiesen.