Clearing the brush and trees off the middle school site will begin Monday in Baxter.
Residents will learn the name of the middle school next week. The Brainerd School Board will approve the name at 11:30 a.m. Sept. 26 in a special session in the district office. Following the meeting, the board will announce the name in a ground-breaking ceremony at 3:45 p.m. at the site.
The school will be constructed on the district's 181 acres between County Road 48, Mountain Ash Drive and Mapleton Road.
Superintendent Jerry Walseth said 462 names were submitted by students and the community. The district is not accepting any more names.
Walseth said the district received a variety of names, including The Big Middle School and Age of Aquarius Middle School, from the '60s musical "Hair." There were several entries naming the school after presidents, including Jefferson Middle School. Many common entry names were focused around trees, said Walseth, such as Pine Tree Middle School and Pines Middle School. The Lakes Area Middle School also was suggested.
The district's Screening Committee -- Walseth; Donna Bjorklund, Washington Middle School principal; Carol Munns, Mississippi Horizons principal; and Ruth Gmeinder, school board chair -- will look through the entries and narrow the list to three names for the school board to vote on.
Planning and getting everything legally in place is moving along for the school that will host fifth- through eighth-grade students. The district's Building Committee met Wednesday and made a recommendation for the school board to consider awarding a bid to Brisk Inc. in Little Falls to clear the site for $54,600. The school district had one bid from Young Excavating in Hackensack for $119,000.
John Huenink, construction manager of Kraus-Anderson, said the difference in the bids is attributed to hauling costs that Baxter requires. He also said Brisk specializes in clearing and has the equipment needed.
Clearing the site is scheduled to be completed by Oct. 11.
The next bid the school board will approve in October is for preparation work to look at the soil of the site and to determine exactly where the school should be located. Then bids for footings and foundation will be sought.
The school district received approval Tuesday for a conditional use permit from Baxter for construction of the school.
The school district will have to follow a few pre-construction requirements for the permit, including that the construction guidelines in the DNR manual for Blanding's turtles are met, that the hours of construction will be between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. and that burning will take place only at night and only with a northwest wind.
The city also is requiring the school district to place a 20-foot buffer of natural vegetation along Mapleton Road.
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