Brainerd High School Breaks Ground On Construction And Performing Arts Center Project
Officials, school administrators, and members of the community gathered at Brainerd High School today for a momentous occasion. Construction was officially kicked off for the Brainerd High School and new performing arts center construction project.
“This is a day we’ve been waiting for for a year and a half and it’s finally here. How fun to have so many community members and our students and our staff,” said Brainerd Public Schools Superintendent Laine Larson.
This major construction is part of Blueprint 181, a district-wide project that is constructing or remodeling schools and buildings across the district and was passed through a referendum vote in April of 2018.
“The community has overwhelmingly supported this through public referendum. The design process has gone very well and now we’re into the construction process,” said Dave Bergeron, ICS Consulting primary owner.
The referendum was comprised of three measures. The first two improved school facilities, and the third approved funding for a new performing arts center.
“We predict that we are going to be bringing in national and regional musicians, dance companies, to be housed here in our 1,200 seat performing art center,” added Andrea Rusk, Brainerd High School principal.
The construction project at the high school was needed in order to update learning and athletic facilities, and above all, to redesign the school so all students are under one roof.
“Everyone will be on one campus. When we have our arts programs and our practices and such, everyone will stay within the North Campus,” Larson explained. “All of our high school kids will be right here from this point on.”
Construction began two weeks ago on the new performing arts center. It will be located right off the high school where the north parking lot used to be. If everything goes as planned, the whole project should take around three years to complete.
“The high school project is a pretty involved project. Of utmost importance is ensuring that all the occupants whether it’s staff or students, that the entire process is done safely for them,” said Bergeron.
According to organizers, the school renovations and new performing art center will not only benefit the school district, but the greater Brainerd community as well.
“It will be really fun for our area and I think it will be really positive for our business community, too. People will be coming into town to stay overnight and to eat and to shop,” Rusk said. “It’s a win, win, win for all of us.”
The building that currently houses the South Campus of the high school will be renovated and repurposed into the new home of the Lincoln Education Center.