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PROJECT ON COURSE Carrington school addition about 35 percent complete

Workers finish up for the day on the elementary school addition to Carrington (N.D.) High School on Oct. 25. The shell is expected to be completed in November with indoor work on the $16 million project to finish up in July. Tom LaVenture / The Sun

CARRINGTON, N.D. – Workers expect to have a new elementary school addition at Carrington High School enclosed by Thanksgiving to continue working indoors through winter, according to Brian Duchscherer, superintendent of Carrington Public School District.

Workers broke ground in April on the 66,495-square-foot addition that includes the new elementary school, a shared kitchen and cafeteria with the existing 48,000-square-foot high school, along with a new gymnasium, locker rooms, weight room and mechanical room.

In May 2016 school district voters passed a $16 million bond for the project that will serve 265 elementary and 235 high school students from Foster County and portions of Wells, Stutsman and Eddy counties.

“The construction is about 35 percent completed,” Duchscherer said.

Construction is about a week behind schedule after high winds stopped work on the roof for a few days, he said. The overall completion date is set for July 13, 2018, he said.

The high school and elementary school will be connected but will have separate environments, Duchscherer said. With six square blocks of land the high school is able to maintain its south entry while the elementary extension will have a separate north entrance with an off-street circular drive for buses and parents to pick up and drop off children, he said.

The single floor addition will house two sections of kindergarten through sixth grade, he said. A preschool may also start in two classrooms that were designed for that purpose, Duchscherer said.

"It has been difficult to be a gracious host to the visiting teams. Now that won’t be an issue.

BRIAN DUCHSCHERER, superintendent, Carrington Public School District

The library at the center of the new addition and a nearby commons have raised windows to let in natural light, with heating and air conditioning units easily accessible under the roof for maintenance and repairs, he said. The commons area will serve as a K-12 cafeteria that will operate in shifts, he said.

The art teacher will now have one classroom in the new addition to instruct high school and elementary students, he said. Until now, art has been taught using space in both schools, he said.

The extension will provide an indoor link to the industrial arts and ag-education buildings, he said. A concrete lot is already poured that is thick enough to allow regular semi-truck deliveries, he said.

The new gym will have a full basketball court and two practice courts along with hosting volleyball, he said. The gym will seat 1,100 where the old gym seated 650, he said.

The hallway from the school’s existing two locker rooms will link with four new locker rooms of the new gym, he said. The new lockers will be gender neutral and have individual showers, he said.

“It has been difficult to be a gracious host to the visiting teams,” Duchscherer said. “Now that won’t be an issue.”

The existing stage and acoustics of the original high school gym are still preferable for concert performances, he said.

“It’s still a beautiful gym,” he said. “We just renovated it six or seven years ago.”

Paving the student parking lot was added to the project after seeking input from students about what they would like to see as a school improvement, he said. The lot is also used by community attending activities and sports, he said.

“The students had to walking through mud and dirt every day and especially after the spring thaw,” he said. “It’s been that way for 50 years.” |

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