Procurement process begins for Park Rapids High School addition

The school board put architectural precast out to bid Sept. 6 for the grades 7-8 wing to be built next year.

Tennis court reconstruction at the Park Rapids Schools was substantially complete, the school board learned on Sept. 6, 2022.
Contributed / ICS
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The Park Rapids School Board put architectural precast out to bid Sept. 6 for construction of the new grades 7-8 wing at the high school.

Justin Maaninga, a senior project manager with ICS, explained that although work on the high school addition isn’t scheduled to start until summer 2023, it is important to procure the precast now in order to keep the project on schedule.

“The contractors that we’ve been talking to are communicating about a one-year lead time,” he said, estimating the value of the precast, supply and install, at $810,000.

Bids will be opened Sept. 20, he said.

In further project updates, Maaninga reported:


  • The Helten Avenue tennis courts are substantially complete, with contractors wrapping up some punch list items. Maaninga shared pictures of the courts, including an area that has been seeded for grass.
  • Sandblasting of the high school’s exterior metal panels is done, and painting is underway. The paintwork is warrantied, Maaninga noted.
  • The “footprint” has been identified for the new bus garage, and user group meetings continue for the building.
  • Playground design meetings have started. New playgrounds will be needed at Century School due to plans to add a parking and pickup/drop-off area on the west side of the building.

Austin May with ICS verified that the tennis courts are open to the public, with school board chair Sherry Safratowich adding they may only be used for tennis or pickleball.
Maaninga said design of the new Century pickup/drop-off zone will be presented at the school board’s next meeting; bus garage design will be presented at the end of October; and high school construction documents should be completed by Dec. 5.

First day of school reports

In consent items and general business, the school board:

  • Heard Century School Principal Mike LeMier report that the first day of school, Sept. 6, went well “generally,” adding, “We had some bee stings at recess on the middle school side, (and) a little bit of a medical situation on the elementary side,” which assistant principal Steph Mercil handled well. 
  • Heard High School Principal Jeff Johnson report that with 30 new students registering since mid-July and six new students enrolling on Sept. 6, class sections were tight and they may need to add sections to take the “pinch” off. He said the ninth-grade-only first day of school continues to be a success in transitioning students from the middle school, with peer mentors from grades 10-12 assisting in their orientation.
  • Heard Superintendent Lance Bagstad report that in preliminary numbers for the first day of school, the schools had 1,574 enrolled students K-12, about 49 more than at the end of the last school year. Districtwide enrollment, including pre-K and alternative education, was about 1,735, he said.
  • Heard school board member Dennis Dodge report that North Country Vocational Co-op Center received a $200,000 grant and continues to answer teachers’ requests for equipment, including computers for business teacher Angie Kuehn and mannequins for district nurse Tia Kocka. 
  • Hired Rhonda Hukriede as a middle school paraprofessional.
  • Posted a part-time position as a Community Education paraprofessional, 10 hours per week.
  • Increased a School Age Care coordinator position from 32.5 to 40 hours per week.
  • Approved a first reading of a new policy requiring the Pledge of Allegiance to be recited at all school board meetings.
  • Approved second readings of policies regarding drug and alcohol testing, drug-free workplace and drug-free school, and acceptable use of electronic technologies.

The school board’s next meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. Monday, Sept. 19 at the Frank White Education Center.

The school board learned Jan. 23 that the district is part of a group of districts partnering in a $3.8 million DHS grant to increase mental health services in the schools.

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