By Joe Morey, News Editor
and Lonnie Barber, Contributor
New construction that began last summer at the LCO Ojibwe School is now complete and the upgrades are visible throughout the campus.
LCO School Superintendent Jessica “Hutch” Hutchison told LCO News that the new renovations, paid for by the CARES Act, was necessary due to the increasing enrollment at the school over the course of the pandemic.
Hutch said they added 10 new classrooms with the renovation of modular buildings on the campus, which added four new classrooms to the Middle School and six new classrooms for the Wadookodaading Ojibwe Language school, which has been struggling for years with a lack of classroom space.
Hutch explained since hiring Jason Weaver as facilities director, he has been proactively looking at issues mostly identified for safety reasons the school faced and how they could be addressed. The renovations proposed and supported by the LCO Tribal Governing Board came to a total of $3.4 million, funded by CARES Act.
Renovations included exterior repairs and painting of the LCO Elementary along with a new roof for that building. Block work and concrete work done on the bus barn was also done, as well as a handicap ramp at the gymnasium and cafeteria entrance.
Hutch also said the elementary school bathroom was remodeled to address the ability for staff to prevent the historical problem of kids “goofing off in the bathrooms.”
Hutch listed the renovations that directly benefitted students, which included doubling the sizes of the weight room and the biology room greenhouse. She said the weight room now rivals a lot of college campuses.
“Our student athletes now have a training facility they can be proud of,” Hutch stated. “Miigwech to the LCO Tribal Governing Board for their support of this project and our ever growing athletic department.”
Painting included the brightening of the floral design along the outside of the school.
New classrooms added to the campus, and new handicap ramp.
New weight room doubled the size and added new equipment