New Cloquet Middle School Almost Ready for Students

August 25, 2017 08:20 PM

When school starts for Cloquet on September 6th, the 800 students in the middle school will be walking into a brand new building.

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The $40 million dollar structure on Washington Avenue is getting the final touches by contractors. And according to Lead Project Manager Greg Schendel, there have been 100-150 people on site each day.

He and other project leaders and school officials showed Eyewitness News around on Friday afternoon. And we were impressed.

There's a beautiful new gym, which will host varsity sports and other levels of sports. "This is going to be used all day. For a community like us, you can never have too much gym space," explained assistant principal Tom Lenarz.

The school was built to have four separate wings, that can be closed off for security.

On the tour, project architect, Paul Youngquist said, "With a push of a button, the office can close and lock the doors to the 'A' block, to keep the kids safe."

The 'A' block is the academic block. Classrooms are grouped by grade level.

Teachers could be seen getting their rooms set up. Schendel explained, "The furniture is flexible and adjustable, and the desks can be rearranged to be separate or together in groups."

Each room is equipped with a sound system with a wireless microphone.

Lenarz said it's great for teachers to they can be heard better, but it's also proving to be popular with kids. "I've found that students respond to it, when they get to use it too. Like, if they're giving a power point presentation."

We then moved into the 'B' block, where there are music rooms, art classrooms, and the shop classes.

The 'C' block is for the media center and large cafeteria.

The 'D' block is home to the large pool and locker rooms.

Lenarz said he's really excited to see the students' reaction when they walk in. "They'll see the Lumberjack logo on the floor, the new gym, the academic wing color-coded by the grade. Those neat details that the kids are really going to enjoy."

The entire project was made possible after voters approved a referendum. That referendum vote is also paying for secured entrance upgrades at the other Cloquet schools.

You'll be able to check out the new school yourself, on September 14th. That's when there will be a grand opening and self-guided tours.


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