ESKO — The Esko School Board approved a layout for the new fitness center at its Monday, Feb. 13 meeting.
Superintendent Aaron Fischer told the Cloquet Pine Journal the board made minor changes to the configuration Monday. The most significant change was moving the reception desk by the door, which will make it easier to install utilities and allow for better supervision of the workout space, he said.
Updated architectural drawings of the space were not immediately available. Fischer said he expects to have them in a week or two.
The board also dug into and reviewed plans during a Jan. 30 work session with architects.
In initial plans, the board was looking to have the center’s exam and therapy rooms in the hallway that leads into the existing school building rather than in the new fitness center building. However, because of safety protocols, this would not be permitted, meaning the two rooms would have to be in the new addition.
The fitness center will be added to the south side of the school building and will share a wall with the varsity gym.
After fiddling with the layout during the work session, board members decided on a layout they liked, which best used the new space.
That design has the exam rooms on the eastern side of the fitness center, along with restrooms, allowing for the western side to be used for the gym equipment.
The entrance to the fitness center will be from the existing access point on the south side of the building. Students and staff will also be able to enter the fitness center through the school.
Fischer said one of the reasons for this location is to move the current fitness center from the middle of the school, so community members do not need to go through the school to get to it.
The latest timeline for the project has officials seeking construction bids in March, with the plan to break ground in the summer.
The district approved a lease levy to fund the project last year that amounts to $2.05 million. The figure includes the total cost of planning, design and construction for the project. Fischer said the estimated cost of construction is around $1.5 million.
Editor Jen Zettel-Vandenhouten contributed to this report.