A full-sized gym at Garfield Elementary School is a possibility after the Brainerd School Board approved a schematic design Monday, Oct. 26.

Original designs for renovations at the school did not include a full-sized gymnasium, which means Garfield would be the only elementary school in the district with a smaller gym. But after bids for the rest of the project came in favorably, the board will explore the idea of adding a bigger gym. Board members authorized project managers to move into the design development and construction documents phase for the gym at a cost not to exceed $66,300. This phase will bring forth estimates for the cost of the larger gym so the board can see if it will fit into the overall budget.

The gymnasium, as it stands, is not large enough to host big assemblies, like last year’s Veterans Day program, which saw attendees flooding out into the hall for lack of space in the gym.

The rest of the Garfield project includes more kindergarten space; a two-classroom addition; a kitchen addition; front entry and administrative suite updates and additions; cosmetic upgrades for ceiling, flooring and duct work; and additional parking outside, including new accessible parking spots close to the building.

In other business, the board:

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Approved new hires to the district: Beck Barber, athletic official at Forestview Middle Schools; Elijah Hanson, substitute custodian; Ethan Hanson, substitute custodian; Lindsay Topp, substitute teacher; and Hannah True, building secretary at Riverside Elementary School.

Approved a change order for the Brainerd High School and performing arts center projects for lighting and access control systems not to exceed $56,222.

Rescheduled the next two school board meetings. The meeting originally scheduled for Nov. 9 will move to noon Thursday, Nov. 12, to canvass election results. The meeting originally scheduled for Nov. 23 will be at 6 p.m. Nov. 30 to better spread out the November meetings.



THERESA BOURKE may be reached at theresa.bourke@brainerddispatch.com or 218-855-5860. Follow her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/DispatchTheresa.