DNR moves into temporary office at School District 166

As the Grand Marais Public Library did while its building was 
being reconstructed, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources 
Grand Marais office will be leasing space at School District 166 
during its upcoming renovation. As of today, DNR staff was moving into 
the west end of the school building.
DNR Northeast Region Facilities Manager Roger Erickson said requests 
for bids also went out last week and it is hoped that reconstruction 
of the DNR building on Highway 61 at the east end of Grand Marais will 
start October 1, with asbestos abatement. The rest of the work will 
begin as soon as the DNR has a contract with the successful bidder, 
likely in mid-October.
A state architect did the design work and consultants were hired for 
the electrical and mechanical schematics. It is anticipated that the 
work will be done in June 2013. The estimated cost of the renovation 
is $600,000.
Erickson said when the project is finished, it will be “an all new 
office.” The project will include an approximately 28-foot addition 
where there used to be a modular trailer.
The modular trailer, which had been in use for 14 years, was removed 
in 2008 because it had been deemed unsuitable for habitation. The 
trailer was intended to be a temporary solution to the lack of office 
space.
There were several attempts to get a new building in the interim, so 
it is nice to see this happening for those DNR folks.
Erickson said the renovated space would be opened up to include a 
couple of offices, workstations and a dispatch area. “It will 
definitely make it more efficient for our staff and will make it 
friendlier to the public,” said Erickson.
The DNR building houses staff from DNR Fisheries, Forestry and 
Wildlife, as well as the state sentence-to-serve crew leader. About a 
dozen full time people work in the Grand Marais office with additional 
staff added seasonally.
While the work is being done, DNR staff will be found at School 
District 166 in the space that was formerly the superintendent’s 
office. The DNR is paying a lease of $2,557.50 a month, which will 
give the DNR 12 designated parking spaces for employee vehicles and 
DNR pickups. A DNR sign has been erected at the front of the building.