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Bemidji School District: Bank building renovation project nears

The Bemidji School Board will soon be renovating the First National Bank Bemidji into a useable facility.

The board approved the lowest bids for the renovation project Monday, totaling $57,639.

The following bids were approved:

- Doors, frames and hardware from Northern Door and Hardware, $4,625.

- Drywall package from Davis Drywall, $17,850.

- Acoustical ceilings from Dow Acoustics, $5,950.

- Bathroom stall partitions from Construction Supply, $2,214.

- Residential casework from Woodside Industries, $837.

- Plumbing, heating, ventilating and air conditioning from Wes' Plumbing and Heating, $26,163.

The Bemidji School District is planning to acquire the bank located at 502 Minnesota Ave, N.W. through a lease purchase agreement. The district will relocate its Alternative Education Center, the Bemidji Youth Learning and Working program and its Living Skills program into the building.

The consolidation of the programs into a single site will allow the district to reduce existing lease levy costs for these programs by about $46,200 per year.

According to Chris Leinen, the district's director of business services, contracts for the bids will be issued this week. Construction will begin right away once the bids are issued. The entire renovation project is expected to be completed by the end of August.