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
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
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.