CLEARVIEW EXPANSION. Principal Sheri Rutar hosted architect David Leapaldt and St. Cloud Schools head of buildings and grounds Brian Brown (right), at a meeting with Clearview Elementary School teachers and staff Wednesday afternoon. A decision on a proposal to expand Clearview to a K-8 school is expected soon. (Photo by David Hannula.)

Clearview staff hears expansion plans

Contributing Writer
David Hannula
Faculty and staff members met with officials involved in the planned expansion at Clearview Elementary School Wednesday afternoon, hearing details of the proposed construction and providing planners with their views on what improvements would be most beneficial to the building.
Principal Sheri Rutar played host to architect David Leapaldt of IIW Minnesota, the firm the St. Cloud School District has retained to begin plan for expansion at several district schools, and Brian Brown, head of buildings and grounds for the St. Cloud schools. They met with a group of teachers and staff in the faculty lounge at Clearview Elementary School after students departed for the day.
No decision in regard to expansion of Clearview to a K-8th Grade school has been reached yet, though a remodeling of the current building is all but a foregone conclusion, whether or not the school expands to include 7 and 8 grade classes.
Brown stated that the Clearview building will also undergo a conversion from steam heat to hot water heat next summer, a change that will also include air conditioning in the facility.  Leapaldt pointed out that the conversion is needed to bring the school up to state standards for indoor dehumidification and air quality, compliance with which is mandated by law.
Other features mentioned by staff members include drinking fountains inside classrooms, expan- School Continued On Page 2
sion of rooms and storage for programs including art and music, a pre-school room configuration, an expanded entrance lobby where classes can meet for special purposes such as field trips and assemblies, and expanded parking facilities, especially for visitors to the campus.
Once a decision is made on the expansion at Clearview, the design will be finalized based on planning meetings and other input from the district.  Brown said the construction work would then begin early in 2015, with a completion date in advance of the beginning of school in the fall.  It will take at least a year from now to finalize the designs, as well as getting estimates and being placed on the schedule with the required building contractors.
Rutar said she expects a decision on the expansion project to be made in the near future.  She has a meeting with superintendent Willie Jett scheduled for this week, where more project information may be forthcoming.


MEMBERS OF THE BIG LAKE HIGH SCHOOL CHAMBER CHOIR performed for the school board at the beginning of their last meeting. The Chamber Choir members are selected for their skills from among their peers. They were directed by Mary Ebanks. (Photo by Jennifer Edwards).

DARLENE LANZ grew up just east of town and has lived in or around Big Lake all her life. She recalls what Christmas was like in Big Lake back then. (Photo by Jennifer Edwards).

SHERBURNE COUNTY ATTORNEY Kathleen Heaney, taking over as MCAA President. (Submitted photo.)

Cheryl Turck and Corey Mabis of the Sherburne County Probation Dept. (Photo by Ken Francis.)

SANTA AND HIS HELPERS prepared to give out toys to 111 families at the Food Shelf Monday. The toys were all donated by one local merchant. (Photo by Ken Francis.)