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Lifelong Learning

Construction Report: School construction projects currently under budget

August 22, 2016

With the goal of having both the grades 5-6 school connected to Horizon Middle School and the new K-4 elementary school open by fall of 2017, work is progressing on construction projects throughout Moorhead Area Public Schools.

A competitive construction climate led to lower than estimated bids on the district’s $78.2 million construction projects approved by voters in Nov. 3, 2015. Besides the two new schools, the bond referendum is providing for secure entrances in the elementary schools and an auditorium at Horizon. Next summer, the remaining projects will include elementary school renovations, secure entrances at the remaining schools, and returning Probstfield Center for Education to an early childhood and district education center focused on the needs of our youngest learners.

With the majority of bids completed, the district is approximately 8.6 percent under budget on the projects, said Brandon Lunak, assistant superintendent of finance and operations, at the July School Board work session. The savings has allowed the district to add some energy efficiency alternates to the projects and provides a cushion as construction continues.

Secure Entrances and Remodeling Projects
Work is underway this summer on creating secure entrances at Ellen Hopkins, Robert Asp and S.G. Reinertsen Elementary Schools. Later this fall, visitor management systems will be added to the three elementary schools, said Superintendent Lynne Kovash.

At Hopkins and Robert Asp, the structural steel and exterior walls are framed. Work on sheathing and masonry is underway. July rains delayed projects slightly, but the new main entrances at Hopkins and Robert Asp will be completed before school starts. The offices are scheduled to be finished by mid September.

At Reinertsen Elementary, the exterior addition work is done with drywall work being completed for both the addition and the interior office remodeling, said Steve Gehrtz with Gehrtz Construction Services.

“We are right on schedule to be complete with the Reinertsen project prior to school starting,” Gehrtz said.

Additional remodeling work at the elementary schools will be done during the summer of 2017.

K-4 Elementary School
Exterior foundation wall work is completed for the new K-4 elementary school, and work continues on interior footings, Gehrtz said. Masonry work has begun in the gymnasium area. Mechanical and electrical underslab rough-in work is underway. Site utilities are completed with storm sewer work being completed. Structural steel erection will begin in August. Grading of the site is done with parking lot grading underway.

Grades 5-6 School connected to Horizon Middle School
At Horizon Middle School, exterior and interior foundation work for the grades 5-6 school is nearly complete, Gehrtz said. Masonry work has begun in the gymnasium and music areas.

“Mechanical and electrical contractors are working on rough-in work under the floor slabs,” he said.

Steel erection in the gymnasium and commons areas will begin in August.

Work is underway for the north and south parking lots and new bus loop. All site utility work is complete, and the athletic field grading will begin in August, Gehrtz said.

Photo caption: The aerial photo shows construction underway on the new K-4 elementary school, southeast of Horizon Middle School. See two more photos on our Facebook page at

Categorized under: School