Hy-Tec Construction in Brainerd was awarded the construction contract Monday to build seven classrooms and a larger and more secure entryway at Riverside Elementary School in Brainerd.

The Brainerd School Board voted 3-2 to award the bid to Hy-Tec for $1,897,016. Board members Chris Robinson and Tom Haglin voted against the motion. Haglin stated at a committee meeting in February he was against the project as he wanted to explore more possibilities in relieving the issues at Lowell Elementary School before moving on construction.

The district has been discussing facility needs for Riverside and Lowell. Riverside's needs were brought to the forefront as programming has increased, along with enrollment.

The classrooms would be an 11,178 square-foot addition to the north side of the building. The district's original proposal was six classrooms, but one of the classrooms was larger in size and school officials said the room can be remodeled into two classrooms.

With seven more classrooms, the gifted and talented AGATE program at Lowell could be moved to Riverside. That would free up four rooms at Lowell. This is just an option right now and no in-depth talk has taken place on it yet.

Two new classrooms at Riverside would serve as a music instruction space and another kindergarten room should enrollment warrant.

As part of the district's long range facilities planning process, where the district is reviewing its school buildings' structures, the board voted 5-1 to hire The Cunningham Group of Minneapolis for $154,000 to facilitate the planning process. The Cunningham Group will help guide the school district in its future long range planning process.

Board member Reed Campbell voted against the motion. After the meeting, Campbell said he voted against the motion because he felt like the district was capable of doing the work itself. Campbell said board members have toured all the district's facilities and they were able to plan the Riverside project just fine.

"I think we can do this in-house," he said.

In other school business:

• Approved the third and final readings on the following policies: The superintendent contract, duties and evaluation; policy implementation; administrator code of ethics; mandated reporting of child neglect or physical or sexual abuse; mandated reporting of maltreatment of vulnerable adults.

• Approved the second presentation and readings of the following policies: Policies incorporated by reference; student dress and appearance; enrollment of nonresident students; school activities; student fundraising; student recruiting; policies incorporated by reference; organization of school calendar and school day; curriculum development; organization of grade levels school district plan and procedure and religion.

• Approved the first presentation and readings of the following policies: Students and employees with sexually transmitted infections and disease and certain other communicable diseases and infectious conditions; staff development; distribution of non-school sponsored materials on school premises by students and employees; student promotion, retention and program design; interviews of students by outside agencies; violence prevention (applicable to students and staff); student use and parking of motor vehicles: patrols, inspections and searches; and student parental, family and marital status nondiscrimination.

JENNIFER STOCKINGER may be reached at jennifer.stockinger@brainerddispatch.com or 855-5851. Follow on Twitter at www.twitter.com/jennewsgirl.