In November of 2021, residents in the Lake Superior School District voted to approve a $44.1 million plan for expanded educational spaces and infrastructure upgrades at both Minnehaha Elementary School and William Kelley Schools. On Wednesday, June 7, 2023 the upgrades were officially begun with groundbreaking ceremonies.
Ground was first broken at William Kelley at 11 a.m., and a ceremony at the Minnehaha followed at 2 p.m. Ceremony speakers included Superintendent Jay Belcastro and Minnesota State Senator Grant Hauschild, as well as other members of the district administration and elected officials.
Upgrades to the school facilities include security improvements, electrical systems, plumbing, and educational technology. Both schools will also receive a renovation to replace ceilings, flooring, furniture, and finishes. Kitchen employees at the Minnehaha are excited to receive a new kitchen, pointing out that the current kitchen dates back 45 years to 1978.
Upon arrival at the Minnehaha Elementary School to view the groundbreaking, I observed as a WDIO reporter set up his camera to interview Superintendent Belcastro. Schoolchildren playing on the playground adjacent to the ceremony site were intrigued by the official looking video equipment, and began to draw closer to Belcastro and the reporter.
The children remained on the sidewalk dividing the playground from the ceremony site, then, like a wave, rushed over to the camera, interrupting Belcastro’s interview. The children wanted to “be on TV”, and were eager to share what they were excited for about the expansion to their school. Belcastro and the reporter rolled with it, and interviewed the children.
When the time came for the groundbreaking ceremony at the Minnehaha, all the students filed out of the school to watch, each wearing a bright yellow hard hat to commemorate the event. Due to the windy day, yellow hats were blowing everywhere, prompting teachers to remind their students to “keep two hands on your hat!” A group of student representatives received the honor of helping break ground for their school.
Superintendent Belcastro said, “We are very excited to break ground on our building renovations. Our staff and students will teach and learn in 21st-century classrooms. We are very thankful for the support of the Silver Bay and Two Harbors Communities as well as the support from Senator Hauschild and the IRRRB for securing additional funding.”
Check https://www.isd381.k12.mn.us/anchor-our-future/ for updates on the building renovations. While buildings will be closed in part or whole throughout the summer, office personnel will be working remotely so that questions are answered and families prepared for the first day of school: September 5, 2023.