BROOKINGS – The school year got off to a memorable start for the city’s sixth-, seventh- and eighth-graders. After construction delays pushed back the start of classes at Mickelson Middle School by more than a week, students finally had their first day back on Wednesday.
The students started the day with a special assembly, which included a flash mob of MMS teachers and staff, shown above, dancing to their construction-themed version of “Old Town Road.” Then the students were treated to a return appearance by Hans and Franz, aka MMS Principal Tim Steffensen and Assistant Principal Todd Foster, shown below giving high-fives to students as they head back to class following the assembly.
“We wanted to make it really exciting, being eight days late,” Steffensen said of the first day of classes. Find a video of the Wednesday assembly on The Brookings Register’s Facebook page.
Steffensen said six of the new MMS classrooms were ready for students just in time.
“We worked hard this past weekend, cleaning and organizing. It was a lot of work over the weekend. … We sent an email out, and we had 20, 25 people here on Labor Day working, taking boxes, hauling furniture down, you name it,” he explained.
Five more of the new classrooms are still being finished up, with teachers assigned to those rooms in temporary spaces for now. The plan is to move into the new rooms sometime next week.
Work on other portions of the MMS remodeling and expansion, for which the school board has authorized spending up to $24.6 million, continues in areas that aren’t accessible to students. There’s a January deadline for the north addition, which includes the district wellness center, weight room, locker rooms and multi-purpose gym.
Completion of the front office area, with the MMS main entrance returning to the south side of the building, is anticipated in coming months.
Other work over the next year includes new flooring, leveling the commons area, additional practice rooms, adding on to the kitchen, remodeling science rooms, new roofing, track and football areas, and a redone parking lot.
The project is scheduled to completely wrap up by fall 2020.