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Construction hold-ups delay Day 1 of classes at Math and Science Academy

The first day of school is fast approaching for Woodbury students, but for students at Math and Science Academy the first day will be here a little bit late.

MSA will be starting school on Sept. 9 rather than Sept. 3 due to delays in construction of the school’s new $10 million building.

“They may have been able to push it to be ready by the third, but I’d rather be safe than sorry,” MSA Director Bob Kreischer said. “I wouldn’t want them to hurry to get it done by the third and not have something done well.

“It seemed like the easiest thing to do was tack on those days at the end of the school year.”

Kreischer said the biggest reason for the construction delays stemmed from the long winter and rainy spring.

“We had all that ugly weather,” he said. “There were a lot of days that they couldn’t work.”

Kreischer said the school is still working on figuring out transportation for the end of the year since MSA contracts with District 833, which will be done with school four days earlier.

“They’re looking into that,” he said. “We’re hoping they will be kind to us, but we’ll do what we have to.”

Kreischer said the school opted not to start classes on time in the main building since some families will have children in both buildings and some teachers teach in both buildings, so it didn’t make sense to start one building early and one building late.

Starting this school year, MSA will be split up into “Building A,” which will house students in grades 8-12, and the new “Building B,” which will house grades 6-7.

Kreischer said the school decided to house the sixth and seventh graders in the new building so they wouldn’t have to be walking back and forth between the two buildings.

The upperclassmen will have to transfer between buildings for music or physical education classes.

“We didn’t want kids walking across the street because this is still going to be a parking lot,” he said, “and we felt (the sixth and seventh graders) would be the least likely to walk back and forth safely. The older kids are smart enough.”

Additionally, Kreischer said the upperclassmen require the use of all three of the main building’s science labs for the advanced science classes - chemistry, biology and physics.

MSA’s Building B, which totals about 30,000 square feet, will be three stories high.

The building’s first floor will house an office, three classrooms and the gym. Second floor will include three classrooms, including a science lab. The third floor will also have three classrooms, including a music room.

The building’s basement will house locker rooms and storage rooms.

Kreischer said one of the biggest assets in the new building will be the gym since it will allow the school to not only offer physical education classes on site, but also provide space for performances and assemblies.

Previously, MSA students would take physical education classes at the YMCA of Woodbury once every two weeks.

“That wasn’t physical education to me,” Kreischer said.

With the new building, students will most likely take classes every other day, Kreischer said.

In addition to putting the finishing touches on Building B, Kreischer said the school has also spent considerable time during the summer renovating Building A by putting in new carpet, repainting classrooms and turning half of the school’s “Great Hall” into an art classroom.

“We’ve worked really hard so that this building isn’t the dumpy building,” he said. “We’re trying to even things out.”

Kreischer said he can’t wait to get students into the new building.

“It’s going to look completely different once we get students in there,” he said.

Amber Kispert-Smith

Amber Kispert-Smith has been the schools and Afton reporter at the Woodbury Bulletin since 2008. She holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Minnesota. She previously worked as a reporter for Press Publications in White Bear Lake.

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