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Graphic provided This is a preliminary sketch provided by Perkins+Will of the Wadena-Deer Creek School's entrance.

The Wadena-Deer Creek School Board defined the direction of the school's construction project Tuesday at a special school board meeting.

"We are determined to keep our timeline with the school's architect and the construction site manager, so we can build a school for our displaced students," said Dan Toedter, school board member. "It's in the best interest of the students, staff and community that the new school opens its doors by the fall of 2012. Further delays may jeopardize that timeline."

The school board responded in a motion outlining specific design aspects of the new school. They also explained how the school's insurance money needs be used to build a new school to replace the high school which was lost to the EF4 tornado on June 17, 2010.

"The FEMA reimbursement is contingent on re-investing the insurance money toward the replacement of the school building. Otherwise, we could jeopardize losing the FEMA money which we sorely need to continue operating over the next two years," explained Toedter.

The board also addressed the proposed partnership regarding the construction of a new community center. The board indicated there are no common shared spaces planned with the community center. However, dialogue will continue with the wellness committee and the city of Wadena as to shared possibilities, such as parking, lighting, and geothermal options. It was also stated by the board that the school district will not pursue state bonding during the 2011 Legislative session.

The board made a motion to include the following construction design with Perkins+Will:

• To incorporate a walking track on the second floor of the main gymnasium, along with a fitness area and wrestling room.

• To replace the auxiliary gym with a walking track. This change increases the total gross square footage by 1,515 square footage. The addition of the wrestling room at 4,500 square footage brings total building area over the agreed upon total building square footage of 168,000 to 174,015.

• The increase in building area will affect total project cost. The board directed Perkins+Will to develop the design, including the expanded scope.

• Bleacher seating in main gym will be designed to hold 1,600. The walking track and chairs will add more viewing space/seating.

• The board decided to proceed with the auxiliary gym as an alternate space contingent on funding.

• The board agrees to pursue mitigation funding for a 6,656-square-footage Auxiliary Gym. This will be a storm/EF4 emergency shelter for students and community members.

• The 5-12 grades academic wing of the new facility will be two-story, non-flat roof design.

For further updates on the school construction project and other school news, visit