Erik Ramstad Middle School students seemed delighted as they toured their brand new school on Friday.
"I think it's amazing!" said Brenna Tschetter, an eighth-grader. "It's so much bigger, there's so much more space."
Brenna, the student council president, will be among the students charged with eventually giving adults tours of the new Ramstad and answering their many questions.
Erik Ramstad Middle School student council members toured the new Ramstad on Friday morning. The new building is nearly ready for occupancy. Classes will resume in the new Ramstad on Dec. 2 following a long Thanksgiving break next week.
But on Friday, she and her classmates were seeing it all with new eyes. Since the Souris River flood of 2011 destroyed the old Ramstad, students and teachers have been housed at the Minot Municipal Auditorium. The new Ramstad has been under construction since last year in northwest Minot. While construction crews are still putting finishing touches on the building, the wait is almost over. The Minot Public Schools will complete the move over the long Thanksgiving break next week and students will start classes in the building on Dec. 2.
Brenna said she has never had a chance to attend middle school in an actual middle school building, since she was a sixth-grader the year of the flood.
Brenna and fellow student council members Adisynn Widdel, a seventh-grader, and Jayda Bennett, a sixth-grader, were trying to decide what part of the school they liked best.
Brenna said she likes the look of the school kitchen, which is brightly colored and spacious, while Adisynn and Jayda said they like the school commons, where there is so much room for students to hang out with their friends. The girls marveled at the large school gymnasium. One girl's mother is impressed that the students will have full lockers instead of half lockers. All of the girls said they like all the windows in the school and the open, spacious feeling.
Teachers have been equally impressed, said counselor Annette Stach. She said Ramstad teachers have had a chance to spend a day moving their classroom materials to the new building in the last few days. Substitute teachers have taken over their classes while each teacher arranges their classroom.
While they were grateful to have the use of the Minot Municipal Auditorium, Stach said she thinks both teachers and students, many of whom lost their homes in the flood as well, are more than ready to be back in a permanent school building after 2 1/2 years.
Looking at the school on Friday, Brenna said she thinks it has been worth the wait.