New LED lights to brighten the building
By Chad Koenen
If Henning School seems a bit brighter this fall it will be for a good reason. A new LED lighting project is just one of several projects being completed at the school this summer.
During its regularly scheduled meeting last Monday night, the Henning School Board heard an update on several construction projects being completed at the school. Among the projects was a destratification fans project that will help to circulate the air, enhance comfort and improve the overall indoor environment at the school. That project has been completed, as has a weatherization project that replaced several door seals, as well as adding and replacing the sealing at the roof and wall intersections with foam where needed.
Two other projects are still being completed, including the removal of the old chimney to just above the roof level and a new LED lighting project. At the time of the meeting the LED lighting project is about 15 percent complete, but should be done in the near future.
Henning School Superintendent Melissa Sparks said the project will improve the overall lighting of the school, while also providing some unique benefits to places like the special education rooms. In the special education rooms the lights can be dimmed to create a more calm environment for students to learn.
“You can make it more calming and you can help to set a better tone in the room,” she said after the meeting.
The new lights in the big gym have already been replaced, while the library and classrooms are currently in progress. The hope is the new lights will increase brightness in the school, while also providing additional energy and operational savings.
In addition to the building projects, Sparks gave the school board a brief update on what the start of the school year could look like in September.
While students were required to wear masks throughout the day last year, due to COVID-19, the latest guidance from the Minnesota Department of Education stated that unless something drastically changes between now and the start of the school year, COVID-19 guidelines for each district will be left to local control. That means face mask mandates in the classrooms will be left up to the discretion of each school district.
During its June meeting the school board approved its in-person learning plan that stated all students, staff and visitors who are not fully vaccinated will be encouraged, but not required to wear face coverings. While Henning School’s plan calls for simply encouraging face coverings in the fall, the plan is subject to other restrictions put in place by the state, including the governor’s office.
Sparks said once the final guidance is received from the MDH and MDE, the district’s COVID-19 team will meet to review the local safe return to school plan.