- Associated Press - Sunday, February 7, 2016

DICKINSON, N.D. (AP) - Several schools in southwestern North Dakota are in the midst of or have plans for major construction projects.

Projects include a new $26 million Catholic secondary school in Dickinson slated to be finished by next January, but students will move into the building in September, the Bismarck Tribune (https://bit.ly/1Qesw83 ) reported. Trinity Junior High and High School’s 225 students are learning in modular rooms and parts of the facility that didn’t burn in a 2014 fire.

“There’s so much excitement now that the building is going up,” said Steve Glasser, president of Dickinson Catholic Schools.

A two-story fine and performing arts center, conference area and classrooms that are being constructed on the south side of the building should be finished first. Shortly after that, a three-story academic wing and chapel on the building’s east side is expected to be complete.

The first priority is finishing the junior high and high school, but Dickinson Catholic Schools plans to eventually bring its elementary schools to the same campus.

Meanwhile, Dickinson Public Schools is in the middle of building a new middle school, and two smaller school districts near Dickinson have proposed major construction projects.

South Heart School District is holding an $11 million bond referendum in March on a new building to replace the 100-year-old classic brick schoolhouse common on the North Dakota prairie in the early part of the 20th century. Richardton-Taylor Public Schools is considering a $15 million remodel of the junior high and high school building, and it’s looking at a potential June vote on a bond referendum.

Both school districts have outgrown their current buildings, according to officials.

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