St. Paul’s hosts open house, meal, service

NEW ULM — St. Paul’s School will celebrate it’s new $6.7 million building expansion and renovation project with a dedication worship service, catered dinner, self-guided tour and community open house Sunday, Jan. 26.

A special dedication service begins at 11 a.m. at the school. A meal and self-guided tours follow. A community open house with scavenger hunt is set for 3 to 5 p.m.

Youth are especially invited to join the open house scavenger hunt with prizes. Those who complete the scavenger hunt will be entered into a drawing for air pods or a kindle.

The project included new paint, carpeting, windows, ceilings, new LED lights, an interior sprinkling system, heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) upgrades, additional secure doors, handicapped-accessible lavatories, pre-school classrooms, a STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) lab, and art lab.

“The new lower level front office gives us needed security updates,” said St. Paul’s Lutheran School Principal Pete Markgraf. “The pre-school wing has three classrooms and a large, motor movement space.”

In addition, parking spaces were added and one-way traffic was created from Payne Street to Garden Street.

The school’s main entrance was upgraded so visitors must enter an office and sign in to gain building access during the day.

There are many other security upgrades.

“We’ve added more than 30 cameras inside and outside the building,” Markgraf said. “All locks have been changed.”

The STEM and art classrooms were designed as labs. The STEM room is large and has seven sinks. Electrical outlets pull down from the ceiling and are retractable.

An adjacent art room can be used as a lab. A foldable wall separates the two rooms that can become one room when needed.

The foldable wall is also a floor to ceiling, magnetic white board.

“Our pre-school wing will be the home for all our programs for children ages three to five. One classroom will remain a half-day program. The other will be a full-day, pre-school program during the school year,” Markgraf said. “A third classroom will be used for future, flexible programming. The unique, large movement space in the center of the pre-school wing provides area for large, movement skills (such as physical education games).”

Markgraf said a grade school movement space was added on the upper level. Students will use this room to work on motor skills and focusing energies to help them in the classroom.

For more information, visit www.splnewulm.org/school.

Fritz Busch can be emailed at fbusch@nujournal.com.