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Preserving history: Work parties set for old Bemidji High School arch repairs

Linda Lemmer sits among the blocks from the old Bemidji High School arched entrance. Starting Friday, volunteers with the Old Bemidji High School Remembered Committee to save the old entrance facade will reassemble it over the weekend for possible placement near the Nymore Beach area. Monte Draper | Bemidji Pioneer

BEMIDJI – Volunteers will gather this week to reconstruct the salvaged entry arch of the old Bemidji High School.

Old Bemidji High School Remembered Committee – an alumni group working on the project – received a grant to hire a salvage expert, and the glazed terracotta pieces were numbered and stored in Elma Reim’s pole barn.

Group member Linda Lemmer, who inherited the pole barn, said the last plan for the entryway included it as part of the labyrinth at Nymore Beach South Shore Park.

“This rekindled our group’s energy and we organized a reconstruction party for this coming weekend,” Lemmer said.

Randy Lofgren of Lofgren Tree Service has volunteered a bobcat and workers and alumni Pat Winkler offered the use of his bobcat to take pallets of pieces out of the pole barn.

Volunteers plan to lay out each piece, to make it look as if it were reassembled, to determine what repairs are needed and which pieces need replacing, Lemmer said.

Mark Beaulieu of Con’s Masonry also plans to help and Lemmer said the hope is he will be able to give an estimate for reconstruction.

Lemmer said alumni, interested residents and park users are encouraged to volunteer.

Available shifts are from 1 to 5 p.m. Friday; from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 1-5 p.m. Saturday; and from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday.

Food and beverages will be provided to workers.

For more information, call Lemmer at 751-3275 or Sharon Fruetel at 751-3146.