The Osakis School Board passed resolutions concerning air conditioning in the high school gym, the bus garage and the tennis courts at its regular meeting Monday night, July 12.

The high school gym's air conditioning system is set to be replaced under the long-term facilities maintenance 10-year plan, which was approved at the meeting.

Randy Bergquist
Randy Bergquist

"We can cover the gym cooling under long-term facilities maintenance if we call it dehumidification, but if we call it air conditioning, it won't be covered," said district superintendent Randy Bergquist.

Bergquist said the system was looked at recently and a quote of "around $96,000" was received.

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The current balance in the fund is close to $400,000, he said.

"I think it could be done before the first day of school," Bergquist said.

The school board also approved the construction of a new bus garage, bids for which were opened on July 1.

The garage will cost approximately $2 million, with drive-through doors and gravel work costing an additional $130,000.

It will be located on First Avenue East near Rush Street, a couple blocks southeast of the school, land which was purchased by the school in March.

The barn's drive-through doors will enable the buses to exit the barn without having to back out.

Board member Justin Dahlheimer said that although the doors cost more, they will cut down the risk of accidents.

He added that the doors have features that probably would end up being added anyway.

"Money matters, but also, coming back and fixing something that maybe you want to improve in the future is way more expensive," Dahlheimer said.

The facility will be able to accommodate 15 buses and three vans, along with wash and maintenance bays and support space.

The school board also approved a plan to add five new tennis courts to its existing three.

The project would cost "close to $800,000," Dahlheimer said.

Bergquist said the expanded courts "would be really great for the community," and that anybody would be free to come and play tennis or pickleball on them. The pickleball courts would be a new addition, as well.

Tennis tournaments would also bring people into the community, who would also patronize local businesses, he said.

Masks not mandated

Bergquist said the district will not be mandating the wearing of masks when school resumes this year.

He added that if parents of their children feel they need to wear the masks, "that is perfectly fine. We are not going to mask-shame."

Bergquist said parents have contacted the district about the subject via a survey.

"(They) said they're done with the masks, and to be honest, I'm done with the masks, too," he said.

Bergquist said that if Gov. Tim Walz mandated the wearing of masks again, the district would have to reconsider the position.

"But I think we've got a good plan of action," he said.