Weather Forecast


Wadena-Deer Creek district inks 2-year lease with M State

The Wadena-Deer Creek School Board approved a two-year lease agreement with M State-Wadena, ensuring classroom space for their top four grades.

District 2155's lease agreement with the neighboring technical college is for $63,751 a year. The lease calls for the use of 17 classrooms as well as other services.

The June 17 tornado that destroyed the building housing the high school, middle school and administrative offices left roughly half of WDC's student population without a home. M State-Wadena was quick to come forward in the emergency and offer class room space.

The signing of a lease with M State-Wadena is a big piece for the jigsaw puzzle that District 2155 was left with in June.

"I don't think there is anything in all of our discussions that I don't feel comfortable with," WDC superintendent Virginia Dahlstrom said.

With the help of Federal Emergency Management Agency personnel, a remodeling project for middle school students is under way at Deer Creek. JP Structures of Sebeka is currently working in the building. Heating, ventilation, electrical and general construction work is being conducted. Rooms that the Freshwater Education District has leased since 2005 will be moved to accommodate the seventh and eighth grade WDC classes a total of approximately 160 students, beginning in September.

Dahlstrom said FEMA is also working with the district on their bus lease with Hoglund Bus and Truck, acquiring space for pre-schoolers at St. Ann's, a temporary bus garage and security.

Wadena-Deer Creek Elementary remodeling efforts have also been underway. The walls of the main gym have been repainted a bright yellow and new bleachers will be installed in late September. Chairs will be provided for home volleyball matches until the bleachers arrive. Sue Volkmann's top-ranked WDC volleyers host four volleyball matches in September beginning with a Sept. 7 date with Pine River/Backus.

Dahlstrom and school board chairperson Ann Pate met with Riverport Insurance last week and saw reviews on the status of the high school from the Pinnacle and Clark Engineering.

Pinnacle presented the mold issue and Clark presented a structural analysis. The mold problem within the school is serious. Clark found that seven percent of the building is satisfactory, three percent is good and remainder is critical.

"I think the insurance company is finally realizing that there is not any way we are going to save any part of that particular structure," Dahlstrom said.

Kraus-Anderson, a general contracting firm recently hired by the district to provide an assessment, has had a team in the building to determine what the cost of doing a rebuild of the 168,000 square foot structure that was designed for a student population of 800. According to Dahlstrom, Kraus-Anderson is looking at a rebuild of the school on the site with the same architectural plan. Dahlstrom expects to have their plan within two weeks.

The destroyed structure was opened in 1965. Additions to the building were made in 1992.