by Tim Pahl
2012 was a busy, but successful year at Hancock Public School. A great deal of time was spent preparing for and hosting the All-School Reunion this past summer. The Hancock School board and administration worked to find/create enough space in the building to house the growing student population. Early in the school year it was found out that Hancock Elementary School was named a "Reward School" by the Minnesota Department of Education. Shortly after this, the focus was on renewing the levy referendum in the fall. In addition to all of this, over the course of the past year, the administration and school board have been assessing the need for additional space.
With the passing of the bond referendum on Dec. 18, it looks as if 2013 will be an even busier year than 2012. Starting immediately the board, along with administration and staff, will be working together to create a comprehensive plan for the new addition and repurposing of the high school. Beginning in January, footing, foundation, precast build shell, and abatement will go out to bid. In February, the remaining parts of the project will go out to bid, and in March, groundwork will begin for the new six classroom addition to the school.
As the school year comes to an end all classroom materials, desks, chairs, boards etc. will be moved out of the high school to prepare for asbestos abatement within the current high school and '60s addition. Once this is complete, the entire high school will be stripped down to the bare bones, classrooms enlarged, and new finishes and cabinetry put in place. In addition to these large projects, a number of roofs will be replaced, and the '60s classrooms and locker rooms will be updated with new finishes.
As in the past, it is hoped that the staff can count on the continued support and patience of the students and parents as this project progresses. Assistance will be needed to move everything out of the high school and portions of the '60s addition and patience and understanding will be essential during the summer as most of the K-12 school facility will be off-limits as the build and renovations progress. The ultimate goal is to have the new build and all renovations completed by Sept. 1, 2013.