SAUK RAPIDS -- The change over from the old Pleasantview to the new building is full steam ahead this summer.

The old building has been knocked down and is just a pile of rubble. Sauk Rapids-Rice Superintendent Brad Bergstrom says they are still on track with their timeline.

Right now we're still on track to the first layer of blacktop to go into the parking lot on August 15th which means that we can start parking cars there.  The playground is set to be done by the middle of August.

Bergstrom says there will be grass planted where the old building once stood, which may be delayed a bit.

As for the new building, he says the construction inside is about 88 percent complete.

Just earlier this week we got the furniture in, five semi-loads of furniture.  We've got a team that's in there unloading it, puts the furniture together, puts it into the rooms. They've got a whole process.

The teachers are expected to be able to get into their classrooms in the last week of August.

(Photo: Alex Svejkovsky, WJON)
(Photo: Alex Svejkovsky, WJON)
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Bergstrom says a couple of other construction projects going on this summer in the district include some brickwork on the outside of the middle school and the construction of some new tennis courts.

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As you get ready for the new school year, there is one big change you'll need to be aware of. Bergstrom says for the past two years lunches have been free for all students in the district, due to COVID funding. He says the free lunch for all has now ended.

As of the end of June, that has stopped. Next year for the 22-23 school year families will again need to pay for lunches unless they qualify for free or reduced lunches.

Bergstrom says district-wide they are still looking to fill about 12 to 13 teaching positions. He says the school district employs 390 full-time teachers and has nearly 700 full-time employees overall.

Coming up this fall they'll start working on the design phase for the remodel of the old pool area in the Sauk Rapids-Rice Middle School.

(Photo: Alex Svejkovsky, WJON)
(Photo: Alex Svejkovsky, WJON)
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