Unexpected construction delays cause temporary relocation to area church for start of 02-03 year
After saying goodbye to their old school building at 1723 West Milwaukee Avenue last spring, teachers at Concordia Lutheran School in Storm Lake knew they would be instructing students in subjects such as math and geography in a different location this fall.
They just didn't expect that place to be the Christian Education Building at the St. John Lutheran Church in Storm Lake.
Unexpected delays in the remodeling process at the parochial school's future home at the former Storm Lake Sports building on West Milwaukee Avenue have prompted Concordia officials to move classes into the local church's educational wing for the time being, allowing students at the school to study under one roof until work is completed at their new home in early spring.
While parents, students and faculty were hoping to see the West Milwaukee building open by the time classes start on Aug. 21, new Concordia principal Fred Krueger said the change of venue to St. John Lutheran was simply part of a transitional process for the school.
"When you expand and grow you sometimes have to take baby steps at first, because if you try to take giant steps before you're ready you might fall over," Krueger, who moved to Storm Lake from Fulda, Minn., last spring, said. "Things are proceeding pretty well right now. I think we all know it will be better in the long run if we take our time and do this right rather than try to rush and do something quickly that isn't as good in the long run."
Expected enrollment at the third-year school is 50 students, and Krueger said the rooms at St. John should provide ample space for pupils.
"St. John has a large educational building, so we should have no problems for the kids spacewise at all," Krueger said. "The classrooms there are very compatible for what we will need, and we feel fortunate that St. John has been gracious enough to let us use it this year."
The construction setbacks have not caused any delays in the school's expansion plans, however, as Concordia will add a new fifth and sixth grade section. The extra section will be taught by Krueger, one of three new teachers at the school this fall. Melissa Lund will teach kindergarten, while Susan Barlow will be the new third and fourth grade instructor.
Krueger said support from parents and others in the community has been very helpful this summer, and that bodes well for Concordia.
"We've had a lot of cooperation from everyone in town," Krueger said. "We've been fortunate to have this kind of great support in town."