Changes coming to Perkett

Some improvements will be made at Perkett Elementary this summer.

Minot Public School Board members approved on Friday bids for a range of improvements to the grounds, including an expansion of the parking lot, curb improvements, the addition of drainage tiles, and a chain link fence around the playground area.

The low bid for the earthwork was $270,888, submitted by Park Construction Company of Minneapolis; the low bid for asphalt paving was $117,162, submitted by Knife River Corporation of Bismarck; the low bid for concrete was $58,452, submitted by Strata Corporation of Grand Forks; the low bid for the fencing was $57,018, submitted by Dakota Fence; and the low bid for electrical work was $22,350, submitted by Main Electric of Minot.

Perkett Elementary was damaged during the Souris River flood of 2011; some repairs to the parking lot will be covered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency. However, business manager Scott Moum said the school district wants to make additional improvements to the site beyond what is covered by FEMA. The district will cover most of the cost of the improvements.

Improvements will include the addition of 30 parking spaces at the school, which should help alleviate the tight parking situation, as well as drainage tiles that will help improve the poor drainage there. They also plan to do some grass seeding on the grounds.

The district plans to allow the Minot Recreation Department to use the east edge of the property for a warming house and two skating rinks, one for hockey and one for pleasure skating. Scott Collins, Minot Recreation Auditorium Director, said the project is still in its preliminary planning stages, but it shouldn’t take too long to complete once it’s under way.

“We’re hoping it’s done this fall so we can skate on it next winter,” said Collins.

The outdoor rinks will replace rinks that were lost at Longfellow Elementary following the flood.

Moum said the school district will install the fencing around the playground to separate it from the area where the ice skating rinks will be located, and also around the railroad tracks. This will improve safety and security.

Moum said it is best to do that work while the parking lot is torn up to repair the damage done during the flood.

Plenty of space is available at Perkett for those projects, he said.

Also at Friday’s school board meeting, the board approved the hiring of a new school activities director. Mitchell Lunde is currently the elementary principal at Beulah. He was also administrator at South Prairie School in the 2002-2003 school year. He was Class B Activities Director of the Year in 2012 and also received a principal of the year award in 2012. Lunde will replace Pat McNally, who is retiring. Lunde will take over as of July 1.

The board also gave approval to hire Karen Knowles as the new Minot Head Start director. Knowles has 13 years of experience at Head Start programs in Minot, as well as Alaska and Ohio. Her hiring must also be confirmed by a regional office. Knowles will replace longtime Head Start director Cheryl Ekblad, who is retiring this spring.