A goal of moving forward with the project is to ensure the community remains informed. We will use this site to keep our community informed.
It currently contains reference to the preliminary plan and a timeline for construction planning.
Later we will add information updates and progress photos.
We will also share updates on our school website: www.newfolden.k12.mn.us and on Facebook: www.facebook.com/mcc441
September 2023 Update (September 20)
School started on September 6. Construction has continued with school in session. For the most part school has operated in a normal way for our students. We did have to make a couple of adjustments. Viking Kitchen opening date was delayed. We were still able to serve lunch but utilized a cold menu the first week. It is now fully operational. Our High School had three classrooms we couldn't use to begin the year but we were able to use one of them today and will open the other two tomorrow which is great news.
In Viking, the front office addition has a few weeks of finishing work but is shaping up well. There is a little electrical to finish. Then painting will come next. This will be followed by some flooring and ceiling work, cabinetry and furniture install.
At MCC High School, the large gym walls were installed. They left the north side open to allow the steel trusses to come in. The east classroom addition passed plumbing inspection this morning. The concrete slab should be poured very soon. Footing work is being completed for the cafeteria/commons area. After floors get poured exterior framing will begin. Curbing is getting installed on the east parking lot. A base coat of pavement should be put down next week.
August 2023 Update
It has been a busy summer with construction. Here is an update on progress as of August 18, 2023
Viking Elementary: Viking Elementary progress started a few weeks later than initially planned due to the state permitting process taking longer than expected. Progress has been steady. Current status of improvements: A new door was put into Ashley Umber's second grade classroom. This will be used by students this year for direct access to the hallway and will be the entry for the future social worker/speech classroom/office. The kitchen/cafeteria was completed cleaned out. Flooring in the kitchen area has been installed. New kitchen cabinetry and equipment is scheduled to be installed on August 25. The front office area is behind schedule with an end of September completion date planned. We may be able to use some areas of it, but have made some adjustments to ensure an on-time start to school to allow construction workers best access to space to complete it quickly.
MCC High School/Newfolden Elementary: Most of the high school site and Newfolden parking lot area looked like a large excavation site at the beginning of the summer. Steady progress by Davidson Construction and Gordon Construction has shaped up the areas and it is all coming together. An expanded loop, new east parking lot, a retaining pond, building addition pads, and a new parking lot area at Newfolden Elementary are all taking shape. Pavement is expected to be installed Wednesday, August 23 and Thursday, August 24. Building footings on the north addition are being framed up and poured. Walls for the north addition gym area are scheduled for installation starting September 11. Inside the steel reinforcement of our three Northeast classrooms is currently underway. This required complete removal of the ceiling of tile, lights, and ductwork. There was a delay in obtaining steel but crews are doing their best to get the work complete. We have made arrangements for other spaces for those three classrooms the first couple weeks of school in case we need to. The existing high school building was retrofitted with Sprinklers. That installation went very smoothly. All in all things are coming together and we are very excited about the progress.
The project is staying within budget parameters which is great news. A couple change orders have been approved. One was to put a new dishwasher and cabinetry in the Viking kitchen. One was to allow crew to work overtime for the steel installation in the northeast high school classrooms. There will be others as the state required some adjustments to ensure some old areas of the building meet code. Although there will be some extra costs related to these type of changes, it is all within scope of the funds within the construction budget.
Groundbreaking Date - May 17, 2023
Marshall County Central Schools hosted a groundbreaking ceremony to officially kick off the start of its voter approved building project. Prior to the ceremony students in Viking had a schoolwide photo and heard from Superintendent Lund about the updates to Viking School. In Newfolden, the ceremony began at 1:00 p.m. All students and staff for grade 3-12 students, board members, community members, and representatives from Kraus Anderson and Widseth were in attendance. MCC Student Council provided all present with some ice cream sandwiches on the sunny day. The ceremony began with the MCC Pep Band playing the school song. Junior Kaydence Augustine sang the national anthem. Superintendent Lund shared some remarks about the building project noting that it had been nearly 30 years since any construction had happened on the school buildings in Newfolden. The last time was 1994 when they tore the old highschool sections down attached to the elementary and remodeled a portion of the school. The last project in Viking was completed over 50 years ago in 1966. The new project will add much needed space to help support our students. The Viking project will be adding a new music room, kitchen storage, a staff bathroom, additional office space, and remodeling some spaces that will allow library space, dedicated special education space, a larger staff breakroom, and a nurses office/sick room. This summer the office space will be completed. The music room, kitchen office, and staff restroom will be completed and ready to use in January. The remaining items will be finished summer of 2024. The high school will be adding 5 classrooms, a kitchen and cafeteria, a secondary gym, a larger weight room allowing for a full team or full gym class to use, and will add additional parking. This summer work will focus on replacement of the high school loop, building a parking lot at the Newfolden Elementary site, and replacing the pavement on the basketball court at Newfolden Elementary. They will begin dirt work and putting up walls for the high school classroom addition and the north addition. This new construction will add much needed space eliminating the need for elementary students to cross the street for music and library and for high school students to cross the street for breakfast and lunch. As we take the first steps in this project we hope that it will meet the needs of the MCC community for the next 30 or more years.
School board chairperson Mark Knutson noted that we are making history for tomorrow today. Both Chairperson Knutson and Vice Chairperson Craig Bakke emphasized that our students our future and that it was important for the community to come together to support our students and staff. They noted it is important to have facilities that meet today's needs and provide room for future opportunities. Vice Chairperson Bakke noted that listening, working together, and coming to consensus through compromise helped the district get to this place and time.
A few students, a few staff members, Superintendent Lund, Board members, and representatives from KA and Widseth helped with the ceremonial groundbreaking. One of the students Garrett Barth was selected for raising over $900 dollars towards the project. His parents allowed him to have a sandwich stand and dad promised to match the funds he raised.
Project Budget Update
The bond sale went exceptionally well as noted below in the article: Bonds are sold! All the bonds sold and sellers were able to obtain a premium purchased by the bond buyers. The borrowed amount is not affected by this premium providing nearly $400,000 in additional funding for the project.
The district has been investing all the bond and premium proceeds since their receipt. It is estimated that the district will earn about $912,000 in interest that can also be used for the project.
The board has been very conservative with these funds and nearly all the additional funds are being reserved for project contingency.
Please reach out to Superintendent Lund or a school board member if you have any questions.
Bonds are sold!
The district received an A1 rating by Moody's Bond Rating Agency. This is an excellent rating for small schools making our bonds a very attractive investment. See Moody's Investor Services Credit Opinion.
The bond pricing and sales went very well. All the building bonds were sold and underwriters at Baird were able to earn additional premium which will be used to enhance the project fund support the project while keeping the borrowed amount at the 18.9 million the community approved. The true interest cost was locked in at 4.41% which was under the projected market conditions of 4.5%. A higher than estimated Enbridge tax evaluation allowed the term of the bond to be 22 years instead of 25 at a similar cost to our homeowners, farmers, and businesses.
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