When last summer's flood struck, Head Start workers might have wondered if they'd ever be back in their old building.
But now, 14 months later, they are moving into a newly refurbished building that makes it look like the flood never happened.
"It's a miracle," said director Cheryl Ekblad, who led a tour Monday through the newly carpeted halls. Five babies were being cared for in one of the brightly decorated Early Head Start rooms; preschoolers will return to classes beginning next week. Teachers had largely set up their classrooms, but some items were still being unpacked.
From left to right, John Huenink, vice president for education for Kraus Anderson, Minot school board member Laura Mihalick, Minot school board vice president Roger Kluck, Head Start director Cheryl Ekblad, Minot school board member Steve Velk and Minot school board president Jim Rostad at the grand reopening ceremony for the Minot Head Start on Monday.
The Minot School District held a "grand reopening" and ribbon cutting ceremony on Monday for the Head Start building, the first building the district has been able to reoccupy since the flood.
"Not only did we rebuild it, we improved it," said Jim Rostad, the school board president. Rostad noted the building includes an improved fire safety system. He said the building seems like new to him and he might not be able to find his way through the rooms if he were blindfolded.
The building was restored with a combination of Federal Emergency Agency, state and local funds and took the work of many contractors to get it looking so good.
Ekblad said staff and parents pulled together to make their year in temporary quarters at Jefferson Early Headstart Center work as well as it did.
They are all thrilled to be in their new building.