Renovations at Wrenshall Public Schools Moving Forward with Completion Set for Early Fall

Phase Two Renovations Are Set to be Complete in Late-August

WRENSHALL, Minn. – You can feel it in the air – school is almost out for the summer. It’s been a year of new adventures, hard learning curves, and trying moments, but the staff at Wrenshall Public Schools is 100 percent focused on the future.

“It’s great that we’re doing it, it’s like we’re finally here,” said Kimberly Belcastro, superintendent at Wrenshall Public Schools.

Excitement is bursting through the hallways at this P-K-12 school in Wrenshall.

“To have these improvements to their high school is going to enhance that for the students and the community,” said Patrick Sims, director of operations, Adolfson & Peterson Construction.

“The improvements will benefit everybody,” said Belcastro.

After three failed referendums, Belcastro says progress is finally showing prevalence, even if it’s not always noticeable.

“The students aren’t going to see a lot of the work that’s being done because it’s mechanical and electrical systems, but they are certainly going to experience a new gym, a new space that was their existing pool that was underutilized for the most part,” said Sims.

The multi-million dollar renovation is now in phase two.

“We have a School Board that’s forward-thinking and interested in getting this work done,” said Belcastro.

Phase one wrapped up in 2020. It fixed air quality, heating, and other facility updates.

“We had a very ineffective heating system that wasn’t working properly so it was pretty common to be uncomfortable in our different learning spaces,” said Belcastro.

Phase two fixates on renovations to the current gymnasium, the pool will be no longer, the cafeteria will feature a new façade, and industrial tech areas will be enhanced.

“I highly anticipate the School Board moving to a third phase as well which will be to transform the old recreation building into a career and technical education space,” said Belcastro.

Once the work wraps up, the price tag will surpass $10 million. The funding for the renovations, coming from indoor air quality funding, and long-term facilities maintenance money.

“It feels healthier. If you’d come in and look around and check it out it would feel healthier and more comfortable,” said Belcastro. “Our facility guy, he can check it from home, monitor it, and it’s just really neat.”

The new state-of-the-art renovations, coming at a time when most students spent a majority of the past year distance or hybrid learning. Now leaders are excited to showcase their Wren pride as education returns to a new sense of normal.

“When they have neighboring districts coming in for basketball games, and the use of the gym, stuff like that is really where they’re going to be able to show off what they’ve got here,” said Sims.

“Next year will hopefully be a great year to get our students and staff back and try to look for some sense of normalcy in what we do with students,” said Belcastro.

School leaders look forward to having phase two of the renovations wrapped up by late August, just in time for the return to learn in the fall.

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