Alden school to celebrate addition

Published 1:55 pm Thursday, June 18, 2009

The Alden-Conger School District is celebrating the completion of its $2 million school and community center addition Friday and Saturday with an open house at the facility.

The completion of the 15,000-square-foot addition comes after a culmination of discussion and construction dating back to 2005.

It was made possible with a $1.79 million bond issue, along with contributions from the city and from the late Leverne Carlson.

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“It’s a very rewarding project,” said Alden-Conger Superintendent Joe Guanella. “When I look at it now, I like what I’m seeing, and I like all the partnerships that have been created.”

The addition includes new classrooms and school-related areas, along with city offices and a community center.

The community center includes a fitness center with a cardio area, Cybex fitness machines, locker rooms and an elevated walking track, along with a gymnasium and community room.

The fitness center addition to the school is a model of cooperation between the city and the school district, said members of the South Addition Building Committee.

“By combining city offices with the fitness center in our new addition, we are working hard to provide city services and recreation at the lowest possible cost to the residents of the Alden-Conger school district,” they said.

Guanella said general discussions for the project began in 2005 regarding the needs for the school and the community.

In 2006, leaders talked about a smaller project in the $500,000 range with a science room and a fitness center, Guanella said. That same year, leaders found out about the donation from Carlson.

In 2007, city and school leaders acquired the property for the project, and in the fall of 2008 they broke ground.

The superintendent encouraged people to come view the addition.

The open house will be from noon to 7 p.m. Friday and from noon to 9 p.m. Saturday.

A dedication ceremony will be at 5 p.m. Saturday.

“I think they would enjoy what they found here,” Guanella said.

Starting Monday morning, Alden residents should be able to use the equipment.

Affordable memberships will be available, he said.