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Upgrades Begun on William Kelley and Minnehaha Schools

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.

Haley Searls
Haley Searls
Hello! My name is Haley Searls. I’ve loved writing from an early age, though my nonfiction writing at five years old consisted mainly of weather and gardening reports. I still have some of those early articles: “It’s sunny.” “It’s still sunny.” “It’s raining.” I’m glad to say my writing has improved since then. I wrote a guest post for the Silver Bay Public Library blog, and was the writer/editor of the newsletter for my American Heritage Girls troop. I have been writing for the North Shore Journal since June 2022. Besides writing, I love reading, drawing, photography, music, and spending time with family and friends. Two books that have really influenced my writing are Reforming Journalism by Marvin Olasky and Writer to Writer by Bodie and Brock Thoene. As a journalist, I want to share positive community interactions and inspire people to make lasting connections. Article topics that interest me are ones which show community activities and involvement. Such articles include community events, youth accomplishments, library programming, small businesses, local history, local artists and authors, art programs, and cultural events such as theater and dance. If you have an article idea, email the North Shore Journal with my name in the subject line! I look forward to hearing from you!
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