Going Inside the Old Cloquet Middle School

Northland Uncovered: Nearly 100 Years of Cloquet Middle School

CLOQUET, Minn. – School memories last forever, but some Northlanders are now having to say goodbye to the place those memories were formed.

Cloquet Middle School is closing and moving to a new location.

So, former and current students said goodbye and took last tours of the school.

“The last month has been real bittersweet,” said Cloquet Middle School Principal Tom Brenner.

Some tell FOX 21 it’ll be hard to imagine this building serving any other purpose.

“My generation, of course, my parents, my grandparents, this is really all that they’ve seen, or this building has been here in some shape or form,” said William Bauer an Americorps Promise Fellow.

Built as a high school in 1921, it was a replacement for the high school lost in the fires of 1918.

“This auditorium behind us was originally combination gym auditorium. It originally was meant to seat 900 people, so it was easily the biggest room in the city,” said Bauer.

Serving as a hub for the community, some additions came throughout the years like a new gym, pool and wing, but after 50 years, the high school moved into a new home in 1969.

“For a time this was the junior/senior high so literally it had you know maybe grades five through twelve,” said Bauer.

The school has always been home to Minnesotans, but the bones represent the state, too.

“It was made using Minnesota marble, so there’s marble features. There’s lots of wood flooring and wood accents that are made out of maple and birch,” said Bauer.

These touches give the school something not always seen in today’s world.

“One reason I think this place is so significant is because as you walk through you really can see traces of this kind of forgotten elegance which just really doesn’t have a place in necessarily modern education,” said Bauer.

A developer is planning to turn the old building into apartments.

Students move into the new middle school this fall.

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