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St. Paul’s shows off school expansion project

Staff photo by Clay Schuldt Pre-School Director Heidi Meyer welcomed members of the public into the new pre-school rooms at St. Paul’s Evangelical Lutheran School.

NEW ULM — Hundreds came to the St. Paul’s Lutheran School dedication service and open house event, Sunday.

It was the first chance for members of the public to tour the new $6.7 million building expansion and renovation project.

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, renovated kitchen, pre-school classrooms, a STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) lab, and art lab.

The construction project began in April 2019 and concluded before Christmas. Students were able to enter the new space on January 6. The construction took six months, but Principal Peter Markgraf said it was ten years into the planning process.

Asked what the students like best about the expansion, Markgraf said the older students appreciate the new STEM and art room.

Science teacher Karen Grunwald said the best part of the room is the space itself. She has the room to set up a lab and the students can take over more responsibility for learning the material.

Dr. Ann Vogel toured the expansion and was impressed by the wide-open space and expanded technology.

“They are giving the power to capture the imagination of all the children,” Vogel said.

Pre-School Director Heidi Meyer said the pre-school students were all excited about their new room. The new facility was designed with features lower to the ground for the children. They can see the classroom facilities and bathroom facilities are all within their reach.

Markgraf said the school will have half-day and full-day pre-school programs. Currently, there are 58 students enrolled in pre-school, but 77 applications have been submitted for next year. The program is expected to grow thanks to the expansion.

Markgraf said he enjoys the openness of the building. The new entrance makes it easier to greet people when they enter the building.

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