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School construction is a town attraction

District expects high school expansion

to be available in fall

By John Weiss

weiss@postbulletin.com

CHATFIELD — There’s a new attraction in Chatfield, though the road there is dusty and rutted, and the attraction is only walls.

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Despite that, people are driving to the bluff top to see progress on the new Chatfield Elementary School. It’s off Minnesota Highway 74 east of Chatfield, and its walls are now up. Or they could stop off at the high school to see its expansion.

The two projects are being paid for through the $19.65 million bond issue that voters approved last fall. The new elementary school will replace the old one in fall 2009. The high school expansion will be used in the coming school year, said Superintendent Don Hainlen.

The elementary school is three to four weeks behind schedule because of the cold, wet spring. "They got out of the chute slowly," Hainlen said. A storm on July 7 knocked over an interior block wall where the mortar didn’t have time to set, and that caused a one-week delay, he said.

The construction company hopes to make up for the lost time and still have the school ready for classes in about a year.

Local people are aware of that work, Hainlen said. "After hours, people are driving up there to see progress on the construction," he said. Work on the high school is on schedule and should be done by mid-September, possibly earlier.

School begins Sept. 2, and the hope is that the band and choir can move into their new rooms soon after that. The third room is a multi-use room for sports, such as practices, wrestling and indoor batting practice. The present band room will be remodeled into a girls locker rooms, he said.

The plan is also to relocate administrative offices though those designs aren’t done, Hainlen said.

A new road from U.S. 52 to the site is under construction, and the city will build a new water pumping station and water tower.

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