Erik Ramstad Middle School almost ready

The new Erik Ramstad Middle School is nearly ready for occupancy, said principal Ione Sautner.

Students are scheduled to start classes in the building on Dec. 2, following a long Thanksgiving break, but some things are already being moved in.

“We’re going to be moving the library books this Thursday,” said Sautner. “So our librarian will be able to start putting books on the shelves.”

Sautner said finishing touches are being made to the interior, such as painting and installation of flooring and cabinetry. Landscaping at the site has been done, such as grass seeding, laying of sod and planting of trees and shrubs.

Superintendent Mark Vollmer said the building has been completed in a relatively rapid time frame. Work began at the site in August 2012, a year after the Souris River flood destroyed the old Ramstad. At the time, the site was surrounded by fields and a duck pond. Now there are roads and housing going up throughout the northwest Minot neighborhood.

Vollmer said the new school is a beauty.

“It’s a very open building with a lot of natural light and a very friendly atmosphere,” said Vollmer. “We are excited to get our doors open.”

Vollmer said he’s grateful for the help of partners who helped along the way, including the city of Minot and the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Ramstad students have attended classes in the Minot Municipal Auditorium since the fall of 2011.

No decision has been made about what will happen to the site of the old Ramstad along Lincoln Avenue, said Vollmer. In the past two years it has been used as a staging area for construction and has served as overflow parking for Minot State students and faculty, among other things. Vollmer said community members have also used the track at the site for exercise.

The ultimate fate of the property will be part of the project close-out with FEMA, said Vollmer. He said the decision will likely include community meetings beforehand. The board is committed to making a thoughtful decision.

“That can’t be a decision that is made in haste,” he said.