Lakes Area Charter School to get new siteLakes Building Corporation bought 10 acres of land just west of Osakis to build a new facility for Lakes Area Charter School.
By: By Greta Petrich, Staff Reporter, Alexandria Echo Press
Lakes Building Corporation bought 10 acres of land just west of Osakis to build a new facility for Lakes Area Charter School.
The $1.8 million project includes a 1,300 square-foot building with eight modern classrooms, offices, a kitchen, commons area and fallout shelter.
Since a charter school can’t own a building, the 501(c)(3) corporation formed and will lease the site to the school.
LeRoy Mackove said current plans, while still in the design stages, include making the site as green as possible. A wind charger will provide electricity, solar panels for heat and a cistern is planned to collect rainwater for general water usage such as toilets. The group also plans to plant enough trees on the site to replace all the lumber used to construct the building.
“We think it’s going to be a pretty impressive building,” Mackove said.
Lakes Building Corporation is still working out all the financing, Mackove explained, noting the project is not eligible for any local levy or referendum.
He said they hired a grant writer to explore grant opportunities, including many of the “green” improvements.
The need for a new school comes at a good time, according to Mackove. During the 2007-08 school year, enrollment reached a maximum building capacity of 80 students. Lakes Area Charter School’s lease at their current building expires August 2009.
The new site allows for 160 students and will be completely handicapped accessible.
While looking for a building site, Mackove said Lakes Building Corporation always intended to keep the charter school in Osakis.
“Lakes Area Charter School meets the needs of students from Osakis, Long Prairie, Sauk Centre, Brandon, Starbuck and in between,” he said. “We think it’s a viable business to remain in Osakis.”
With an expected ground breaking planned for September of this year, Lakes Area Charter School should be able to move into its new building in plenty of time for the 2009-10 school year.