SARTELL -- With construction wrapped up inside the new Sartell Middle School, educators are eager to welcome students back into the building.

The building has spent the past year undergoing renovation to make the former high school fit the needs of the district's 6th through 8th graders.

Principal Laura Arndt says there are several key features she believes students will enjoy.

We have a brand new media center which is much larger than the one in our old building. We have the Ice Caves which is a great student collaborative space, and then the music suite is amazing.

She says while this fall will be different due to the pandemic, they feel they have proper plans in place to keep students safe.

We're going to spend a lot of time the first few weeks of school getting them use to the building as well as getting use to some of the protocols like traveling in a certain direction in the hallways.

Arndt says they are planning to hold an open house and several virtual tours to help students transition into the new building.

We do want families to take a look at what the building looks like and get students ready for the school year. How the open house will work yet, we haven't fully decided.

Arndt says teachers are excited to reconnect with students when classes begin on September 8th.

The Sartell-St. Stephen School Board is expected to decide which learning model the district will use to start the year at their meeting on Monday.

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