New year, new school: A look inside Laurentian Elementary in Eveleth

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Plenty of kids started school Tuesday across the Northland. And for some students, they walked into a brand new building, too.

The Laurentian Elementary in Eveleth opened its doors for its first academic year on Tuesday.

“It was exciting, and all the kids were grinning ear to ear,” shared principal Angie Williams. “Some of my favorite features are the Makerspace and the heated floors in the kindergarten and preschool rooms.”

She said they have room to grow, with class sizes under 25. About 475 kids are enrolled right now. When the preschoolers join in, the number will be closer to 515.

The building is part of the newer Rock Ridge district, which combines Eveleth-Gilbert and Virginia. But they are bringing in pieces of the past.

Painted rocks are scattered outside around the campus. They were painted by kids at Franklin Elementary in Eveleth last year.

4th grade teacher Melissa Lautigar explained that it’s a way for them to see themselves in their new spot.

Elise Denny, a 4th grader, said, “It was fun to paint them. And now we get to find them!”

Demolition is underway of Roosevelt Elementary in Virginia. That’s where a new elementary called North Star will be built. The plan is to open that building in the fall of 2024.

The new Rock Ridge academy model high school will open in 2023.