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New Berg Middle School construction focuses on interior

What is now covered in snow outside of the new Berg Middle School will one day be a bustling courtyard with students and a spiral staircase connecting them to the top floor.

Taking up about 170,000 square feet, the new building will be able to fit up to 1,000 students organized into eight learning communities. Students grades 5-8 are expected to start filling the new facility directly north of the existing Berg building in 2019.

Walls are being prepped for drywall, and the interior is making progress with electricity, geo-thermal and water lines all hooked up. The heat was reportedly keeping up with the large space of the building.

The project, built with a $26.9 million general obligation bond, which was approved last fall, will replace the previous building, which NCSD administrators determined was too costly to remodel.

According to Sherm Welker, a senior project manager for the Hansen Company, the project is a little behind schedule due to the cold weather. He said he expects to be back on schedule this spring.

“Normally you don’t build this time of year, and because it’s so cold we can expedite the steps inside,” Welker said. “It’s all part of the master plan.”

Welker said it isn’t hard to find workers for interior construction in the winter time. He said it’s a job that is sought after.

Along with a tight schedule, the project continues to still remain under budget, according to Welker.

Prior to Monday night’s regular board meeting, board members had a chance to look at the interior finishes for the new school. The school is divided into four distinct learning communities, each with its own unique color scheme.

There will be several consolidation rooms inside the special education room, which is located on the southwest side of the building close to the main office.

The district has yet to determine final furniture, fixtures and equipment for the site, but NCSD Superintendent Bob Callaghan said he’d like to see each classroom outfitted with interactive projectors at the new building. Currently, the district has 40 of these projectors, with 10 located in each of the four elementary schools, but Callaghan would like to see their use extend beyond that.

“The middle schoolers are excited to see what they’re in for,” school board member Cody Muhs said.

Contact Kayla Singletary at 641-792-3121 ext. 6533 or

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