City of Elk River, ISD 728 Pave the Way for New High School Lot
After more than two years of school district planning and several months of discussion between ISD 728 and the City of Elk River, a new parking lot is on its way for staff and students at Elk River High School.
The more than $3.6 million project was made possible by ISD 728 voters, who approved the two-question levy and bond referendum in 2019.
“As we informed our stakeholders and residents about the 2019 referendum, we were up front with the fact that - beyond a new middle school - a lot of these projects were going to be about roofs, HVAC systems and parking lots,” said Superintendent Dan Bittman. “This is a parking lot project that pretty much everyone had on their list. The Elk River High School lot has created safety issues for both students and our residents, so something truly had to be done. We’re glad to get started soon.”
The new lot will be shared with users of the City of Elk River’s new multi-purpose arena. It will also fill in the pond that currently sits between VandenBerge Middle School and the high school, with storm drainage moved over to the park’s wetland immediately south of School Street.
The project, which will start as soon as possible in areas near the arena and will take on the full scope of the west parking lot after school releases this spring, is a complete replacement and redesign. It will include:
- Safety and security improvements
- A relocated traffic signal on School Street to improve traffic circulation and reduce congestion
- Additional queuing space with lanes for drop-off, pick up and drive-through (siimilar to in front of Terminal 1 at Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport) at both the high school’s “flagpole entrance” and the main entrance to the multi-purpose and ice arena complex
- A total of 75 stalls dedicated to the City of Elk River facility
- A total of 858 stalls overall, which is an increase of nearly 60 spots in the parking lot
- Additional handicap parking spots and loading areas
- Improved pedestrian walkways and access
- Site/Security lighting replacement
“This is something we’ve wanted and, really, needed at our high school for the past couple of years, so we’re happy to see the project now moving forward. There will be plenty of communication in the months to come for people who are using our facilities over the summer, particularly our athletes and coaches and summer school students, as we go through this construction,” said ERHS Principal Terry Bizal. “It will be a little bit of pain for a lot of long term gain. We’re thankful to our voters and community for supporting these projects.”
Information about referendum projects can be tracked on the School District’s website, www.ISD728.org/728Strong.