December 2, 2022

School Board Updates Layout for Washington Building Renovation – Brainerd Dispatch


BAXTER – The last of the 2018 Brainerd Public Schools referendum construction projects are underway.

Interior demolition is underway at the Washington Educational Services Building, school board members learned at their meeting on Monday, Nov. 14.

The Oak Street building houses the district drop-in center, voluntary pre-kindergarten programs, district offices, and the Paul Bunyan Educational Cooperative. The visitor center will remain in place on the first floor, with a secure entrance at the front of the building. Various administrative offices will be reorganized and relocated.

More bathrooms will be added to early childhood classrooms, existing bathrooms will be updated to meet Americans with Disabilities Act guidelines, and a wheelchair lift will be added to the south side of the building , which currently only has stairs to the entrances.

There will be a multipurpose flexible space in the middle of the Welcome Center which will be used for events such as community meetings, conferences or information sessions.

Bids for the project came in at around $8.45 million in July, under the $10 million budget, giving project managers the opportunity to review first-floor layout and second-floor administrative needs. .

Board members approved an updated layout at their last meeting, at a cost not to exceed $425,000.

A few offices on the first floor were moved as a result of the changes, and the superintendent’s office moved from the second floor to the first, so the superintendent could be near the welcome center and more accessible to new families.

The offices will be relocated to the second floor in order to group the staff of each department in the same area so that they can work together more easily.

During construction, the district offices and visitor center are located at 110 NW Third St., which is the red house on the southeast side of Riverside Elementary School. The project is expected to end in August 2023.

In other matters on November 14, counsel:

New hires approved: Blake Alholm, focused service teacher at Baxter Elementary; Nancy Bieganek, Focused Services teacher at Nisswa Elementary; Anne Campion, Focused Services teacher at Lowell Elementary; Barb DePaoli, Focused Services teacher at Baxter Elementary; Lorie Duevel, credit recovery teacher at Brainerd High School; Jennifer Fundine, credit recovery teacher at BHS; Suzanne Grammer, long-term substitute teacher at Riverside Elementary; Lori Hodge, Focus Services teacher at Riverside Elementary; Chris Hunter, Focused Services teacher at Riverside Elementary; Jana Johnson, Focus Services teacher at Riverside Elementary; Cindra Kuschel, district-wide adult basic education teacher; Suzanne Miller, credit recovery teacher at BHS; Heather Neumann, early childhood teacher at the Washington Educational Services Building; Sashanna O’Shea, Focused Services teacher at Baxter Elementary; Jill Ostendorf, Focused Services teacher at Riverside Elementary; Eunice Peabody, credit recovery coach at BHS; Stacy Podoll-Erdal, Focus Services teacher at Riverside Elementary; Steffanie Sanford, credit recovery teacher at BHS; Nicole Stirewalt, Focus Services teacher at Riverside Elementary; Hannah True, Focus Services teacher at Riverside Elementary; Sarah Vang, Focused Services teacher at Lowell Elementary; Cassy Berndt, nutrition professional at Forestview Middle School; Marcie Hofman, BHS Credit Recovery Teaching Assistant; Karla Kunde, teaching assistant at Baxter Elementary; Brittany Ladouceur, chef at Discovery Woods; Jenawa Litke, school nurse at BHS; Michael Lowe, teaching assistant at Riverside Elementary; Traci Miles, building administrative assistant at Traci Miles; Mark Orzolek, behavior management specialist at Lincoln Education Center; Monica Simmonds, teaching assistant at the Warrior Early Learning Center; Lincoln Singh, teaching assistant at Forestview; Travis Snyder, after-school teaching assistant at Forestview; Joseph Taray, District Warden; McKinley Anderson, men’s basketball assistant coach at BHS; Pamela Bloomer, Fun ‘N’ Friends site manager at Baxter Elementary; Layne Danielson, assistant wrestling coach at Forestview; Avery Davidage, assistant dance coach at BHS; Hannah Elliot, district-wide Fun ‘N’ Friends program assistant; Sandra Jensen, District Continuing Education Enrichment Instructor; Kathleen Kinder Goble, Events Assistant at BHS; Colby Ring, college football assistant coach at BHS; Britni Robertson, head coach of grade eight women’s basketball at Forestview; Louis Roseman, head ninth-grade boys’ basketball coach at BHS; Heather Saffell, event assistant at BHS; Lindsey Soule, district-wide Continuing Education Enrichment Instructor.

Donations accepted at the district: Warrior gear and a $500 Brainerd Public Schools Foundation gift card for the pantry at Forestview; $500 from Anderson Brothers Construction for the BHS robotics team; $500 from Brainerd Lakes Area Women of Today for early childhood scholarships; $1,000 from Lexington Manufacturing for the BHS Super Mileage Club; $50 from M Thurlow Trust for the BHS Key Club; $250 from Paula Murray for the BHS robotics team; winter clothes by Debra Steuck for Forestview Pantry; $200 from Aquarius Water Conditioning for the BHS Robotics Team; $500 from Lindar Corporation for the BHS robotics team; $300 from Holiday Gas State/David Quisberg for gas cards for needy students at the Brainerd Learning Center.

Approved a field trip asks fourth grade students from Garfield Elementary School to visit the Deep Portage Learning Center in Hackensack from January 17-19.

Renewal of a lease with Le Center for the school farm for the year 2023 at a cost of $2.

Approval of a purchase contract with Edina Realty for the BHS construction house to the highest bidder.

Approved final reading an update to the service animal policy, allowing the presence of therapy dogs in schools under certain conditions.

Approved final reading an updated dress code policy to include tattoos – temporary or permanent – ​​as items that must follow the district dress code and cannot be lewd, vulgar, obscene, defamatory, profane or advocate violence or harassment against others.

Approved final reading an updated conflict of interest policy for school board members, as directed by the Minnesota School Boards Association, increasing the amount a school board member employed in the district is allowed to earn by 8 $000 per year to $20,000. Council members can only have paid jobs — such as coaching or part-time jobs — in the district if they earn $20,000 or less a year.

Appointed board member Kevin Boyles will attend the 2022 Minnesota School Boards Association Assembly of Delegates meeting scheduled for December 2-3.

THERESA BOURKE can be reached at

[email protected]

or 218-855-5860. Follow her on Twitter at


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