North St. Paul, MN (January 15 and 29, 2020) – North St. Paul-Maplewood-Oakdale ISD 622, Adolfson & Peterson Construction (AP), LHB, city officials, community members, current and former staff, students and parents celebrated the ribbon cuttings and open houses for Castle and Richardson Elementary Schools. Both evenings featured several remarks of thanks from key project members, melodies from the school choir, an official ribbon cutting and tours of the new and remodeled building spaces.
Both of these projects were an entire team effort—from the community’s support in passing the bond referendum, to the construction and design teams working collectively to meet the accelerated schedules and produce adaptable learning environments, to the students, staff and neighbors for their patience with all of the construction activities—teamwork was the key to success. And as a result, each of these communities now have a better learning environment for their students.
As City of Oakdale Mayor Paul Reinke stated, “Importance of schools: the school is a meaningful, meaningful place and the lives that could change here, the kids that grow, the parents that grow and the community that grows because this facility is here – thank you for the vote of the referendum, for participating in making this community even better because Castle is here and it’s growing.”
Castle Elementary School was originally built in 1969 and Richardson Elementary School was constructed in 1954; both schools needed major updates. Construction began Fall 2018 and included: safety updates (enhanced secured entrances, added security fencing and a new emergency response system), mechanical and electrical system updates (increased energy efficiencies, improved air quality and improved lighting), outside site improvements (new parent pick-up/drop-off area, new bus lane, increased parking and field/play area improvements) and building renovation and expansion (classroom renovations and expansion, flexible learning spaces, restroom additions and renovation and roof replacement). These two schools’ renovation and expansions were completed for students to start school in the fall, with the final touches on both buildings concluded in December 2019.
“The transformation that has taken place over the last year has been nothing short of amazing. It’s been an incredible journey and it has been an honor to work on such a fun project. We have been fortunate to have such quality people working on our space and we are so grateful they have shared their talents with our community. …. The professionals that came into our space were flexible and responsive to our school needs. It will be different not having them around anymore as they certainly have become part of our Castle family. Our students and staff have had the opportunity to learn from the project and we appreciate the professionals working with us saw the learning opportunities that exist for students when such a big project is happening around them,” Castle Elementary School Principal Bridget Bruner expressed. A few students also expressed their delight with the new spaces. It was a general consensus they love the new learning environments, furniture and security aspects which allow them to grow.
AP is excited to continue their partnership with North St. Paul-Maplewood-Oakdale ISD 622. As Phase I is now wrapped up with Castle and Richardson complete, Phase II of the school district’s plans include several updates to Carver Elementary School, John Glenn Middle School and Skyview Middle School. Construction on these three schools is anticipated to begin Spring 2020.