Mohonasen considers facility updates

The Mohonasen School District is beginning to identify areas where it could use the state's EXCEL Aid program to update its facilities.

Pinewood principal Michael Johnson is heading the EXCEL facilities committee, which has been meeting since December. Committee members have met twice recently to tour all of the district's facilities, including the bus garage, to find areas that need the most improvements. Johnson presented the committee's recommendations at the school board's meeting Monday, July 2.

Johnson said the first thing to do is identify areas that need improvements and decide whether those projects are eligible for EXCEL Aid.

A project is eligible for EXCEL Aid if it falls into one of five categories: education technology, health and safety, accessibility, physical capacity expansion or energy.

Johnson said all of the schools need updated window and doors to promote energy savings, and new carpets and tiles and updated security systems.

At Bradt Elementary School, Johnson said the building needs new, larger student storage areas and an instruction room for 300 people.

Johnson said the bus garage could use a training room because bus drivers need to go through periodic training sessions, and there is no place for them to do that. The garage also needs a bus lift.

Issues identified at Draper Middle School include a new canopy, new ventilation system in the school's kitchen and better temperature control.

Johnson said many of the high school's sports facilities need updating, including resurfacing the track and tennis courts and adding locker rooms.

The facilities committee is also recommending adding three fine arts classrooms and technology classrooms at the high school. Also, creating a larger area for custodians and athletic trainers is a priority.

Johnson said the Pinewood Intermediate School needs infrastructure improvements to the school's library, music rooms and gym. Johnson said Pinewood's gym floor has been resurfaced as many times as it can.

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