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Moorhead, Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton ready for students

Shelley Zietz can't wait for school to start. Who can blame her? The choir director for the Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton High School will be teaching in new, state-of-the-art facilities. "This is competitive with the colleges," Zietz said of the new m...

Shelley Zietz can't wait for school to start.

Who can blame her? The choir director for the Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton High School will be teaching in new, state-of-the-art facilities.

"This is competitive with the colleges," Zietz said of the new music facilities. "We are in heaven."

Residents of the D-G-F and Moorhead school districts both passed major bond referendums in recent years, and the fruits of their spending will be obvious when school begins Tuesday.

D-G-F is mostly done with its $7 million renovation to academic and athletic facilities. The district's junior high school is in Dilworth, the senior high school in Glyndon, and both schools also have elementary classrooms.

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Upgrades include:

- A two-story addition on the northeast side of the Dilworth elementary and junior high school and adding about 10,880 square feet of space, including classrooms, a music room and bathrooms accessible to people with disabilities.

- Demolishing and rebuilding classrooms on the east side of the Glyndon-Felton Elementary School in Glyndon and adding a media center to the northwest side of the site, as well as new band and choir rooms to the west of the high school theater.

- Adding a football field and track on the west side of the high school in Glyndon as well as concession stands, bathrooms, a scoreboard, lighting, seating and parking.

- Paving the parking lot at the Dilworth athletic complex and upgrading the basketball courts, concession stands, press box and scoreboard.

The project was paid for with a $6.5 million bond referendum and $500,000 in state funds, said Superintendent Bernie Lipp.

"It provides improved opportunities for our kids and quality facilities for our staff," he said. "A lot of people worked hard on this. I hope they are pleased with their efforts."

At a Thursday night open house, D-G-F parents and students looked pleased with the work.

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"This is as good of a school as any, if not better," said Shelia McLeod, who has three children in the district.

Twelve-year-old Amber Halverson said the $7 million investment was money well spent.

"Everything looks good," she said. "All the rooms are a lot bigger."

Construction is months ahead of schedule to facilities in the Moorhead School District, said Assistant Superintendent Mark Weston.

However, there still will be visible signs of construction when students head back to school.

Lockers haven't been installed yet in Robert Asp School and the junior high, and some floors are missing tile.

When construction is completed next year, both buildings essentially will be new, from the glass exterior to inside walls, pipes and cabinets, Weston said.

Construction also still is under way on a high school cafeteria and field house.

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The freshman wing could be ready for students as soon as December, Weston said.

Crews worked during the weekend to make sure the buildings are clean for students.

"It won't be a mess," Weston said. "I'm not slightly concerned about cleanliness."

Moorhead School District residents passed a $64 million bond referendum in 2002.

The referendum allowed the district to, among other things:

- Build an elementary and middle school to replace the junior high school.

- Convert Robert Asp, a fifth- and sixth-grade school, and Moorhead Junior High School into an 800-student, K-5 elementary school.

- Remodel and expand Moorhead Senior High.

"With any change process there is a mess in the middle," Superintendent Larry Nybladh said. "We are in the middle of it, and there is a little bit of a mess. But next year every student will essentially be in a new building. That's extremely rare."

Readers can reach Forum reporter Jeff Baird at (701) 241-5535

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