By Eric Althoff
WHITE BEAR LAKE, Minn.—General contractor Kraus-Anderson has been hard at work on several educational projects for the White Bear Lake School District, located in the far northeastern suburbs of Minneapolis and St. Paul.
The projects at the three schools, North Star Elementary, Birch Lake Elementary and Lakeaires Elementary, were all designed by Wold Architects and Engineers as parts of a long-range district improvement plan worth over $300 million, which is being funded thanks to a voter-approved school bond measure that was the largest in the state’s history.
North Star Elementary is a brand-new, 103,000-square-foot, two-story K-5 school, which came with a construction cost of nearly $29 million. North Star now offers a media center, cafeteria, conference rooms, modern classrooms as well as a storm shelter.
At Birch Lake Elementary, Wold and Kraus-Anderson expanded the campus by adding $3.6 million worth of classrooms, offices, an asphalt playground, as well as renovations to existing office space, lounges and common areas. Security and safety were also updated at Birch Lake.
Finally, the contractor and architect worked jointly on a 5,149-square-foot addition at Lakeaires Elementary that encompasses kitchen amenities, a new media center, and also renovations to the existing restrooms and learning commons. The cost for work at Lakeaires was $1.8 million.
Kraus-Anderson previously performed renovation work for the White Bear Lake School District that included six other projects, including work at Sunrise Middle School, Matoska International, and Lincoln, Vadnais Heights and Willow Lane Elementary Schools, as well as a district transportation building. The contractor will continue its work with the district, which is anticipated to run into the 2024-25 school year at the earliest.