Planning begins to vacate Frank White Education Center

Project manager Justin Maaninga told the Park Rapids School Board on Feb. 7 that the design phase of school building project will begin shortly.

Frank White Education Center, Park Rapids.
Park Rapids Enterprise file photo

The Park Rapids School Board on Monday, Feb. 7 received an update on school improvements currently in the planning process.

Justin Maaninga, a senior project manager with ICS, said a survey of school property was underway and would be completed this week, identifying existing utilities, topography and property boundaries.

He said a subcommittee is working on plans to move grades 7-8 out of Century School and early childhood programs out of the Frank White Education Center, with the Frank White building to be entirely vacated by the spring of 2023 and demolished shortly afterward.

Later, school board member Stephanie Carlson made a motion directing administrative staff to develop a plan for grade realignment and vacating Frank White.

“We have some preliminary plans,” said Superintendent Lance Bagstad, “and I think it would be warranted for us to be able to come back at our next board meeting and kind of show you where we are and what we have going on, making sure that we’re transparent in our process.”


Carlson’s motion passed unanimously.

Maaninga said the next phase in the process is design development. “Not the grand vision, but more the detail in the spaces is what we’re trying to accomplish in this phase,” he said, adding that they plan to present the schematic design at the school board’s March 21 meeting.

He said design is also moving forward on the Century School tennis court replacement. He said they intend to show plans to the school board in March, put the project out to bid in April and complete construction during the summer.

Business in brief

In consent items and general business, the school board:

  • Hired Robbie Henderson and Victoria Harju as assistant speech coaches, Mason Donahue as a Century School custodian and Lexi Stevenson as an elementary paraprofessional.
  • Approved volunteers Sandy Aldrich, Pamela Deutz, Nicole Guida, Jennifer Johnson and Michael Nelson as speech coaches.
  • Approved the retirement of middle school English teacher Joe Grimes, with regret and thanks for his 32 years of service to the district.
  • Approved the retirement of fifth grade teacher Karen Onstad, with regret and thanks for her 24 years of service to the district.
  • Approved the list of spring coaches. (See section below.)
  • Approved the district’s pay equity report. Bagstad said the school district is in compliance.
  • Acknowledged donations from the Wolf Lake Wolf Pack baseball club, including $2,000 to the hockey program, $1,000 to the athletics department, $1,000 to Century School and $2,200 to the ALICE program, which provides training to respond to an active shooter situation.

The school board’s next meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 22 at the Frank White Education Center. This is a special meeting date due to Presidents’ Day on Monday, Feb. 21.

Spring coaches at Park Rapids Area Schools

Baseball: Head coach Kevin Murphy; assistants TJ Erickson and Stephen Funk; middle school coaches Bob Kapsner and TBD.

Boys golf: Head coach Jeff Anderson; junior high coaches Morgan Marcussen and Tom Marcussen.

Girls golf: Head coach Brent Vandal; junior high coach Walt Harrison.


Softball: Head coach Marion Goeden; assistants Kevin Cederstrom and Ken Tretbar; middle school coaches Ashley Hensel and Josh Cook.

Boys track: Head coach Andrew Lachowitzer; assistants Chad Harshman and Mike Hartung; assistant and middle school coach Pat Richard; volunteer assistants Kent Fritze and Jake Deblieck.

Girls track: Head coach Corey Hill; assistant Melanie Priebe; assistant and middle school coach Pat Richard; volunteer assistants Leah Weaver and Dana Hunter.

Some members of the team set up the field and gave demonstrations at the Minnesota School Boards Association convention.

Robin Fish is a staff reporter at the Park Rapids Enterprise. Contact him at or 218-252-3053.
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