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NLS board delays action on middle school classes, awards bid for demo of Prairie Woods playground

The NLS School Board has accepted a bid of $13,789 from Oak Ridge Construction of New London to demolish the existing playground at Prairie Woods Elementary, seen above in this April 26 photo. Tribune photo by Gary Miller

NEW LONDON -- The New London-Spicer School Board delayed action Monday on adding exploratory classes at the district's middle school.

While the classes will offer students exposure to a wide variety of subjects, the district needs to consider the impact on student participation in band and choir, according to Superintendent Paul Carlson.

"We have to be very careful in how we proceed," Carlson said. The exploratory classes would be offered at the same time as the music classes and may force students to choose between the options.

"We do not want to impact band and choir participation," he added.

The classes would be offered during an "early bird" session before school and during the first hour of classes to students in grades 7 and 8. The classes would be for 15 sessions each and include agriculture, industrial technology, language arts and arts classes.

School administrators will take more time to study how to offer both the exploratory classes and music classes. The school board may be able to make a decision by the end of June and still allow enough preparation time for the classes to start this fall, Carlson said.

The board also awarded the bid to demolish the existing playground at Prairie Woods Elementary to Oak Ridge Construction of New London. The winning bid was for $13,789, Carlson said.

The board had received six bids on the work, ranging from $6,700 to $17,770. However, the low bidder withdrew his bid after school officials reviewed the scope of work with him, Carlson said. The work is to be completed the week after school is out for the summer.

The demo will make way for a new playground, built by Midwest Playscapes, which expected to be completed by the start of school in the fall. Seven sets of swings, plus some newer plastic play equipment will be salvaged and reinstalled near the new apparatus.

The board also awarded a three-year electrical and maintenance contract to Orson Electric of New London and a asphalt repair bid, for the parking lots at the three school locations, to Monson Construction of Willmar.

The Monson bid was $14,550.

Gretchen Schlosser

Gretchen Schlosser is the public safety reporter, and writes about agriculture occasionally, for the West Central Tribune. She's been with the Tribune since 2006 and has 17 years of experience working in news, media and communications. 

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