Huge crane makes second appearance near Queen of PeaceAn update to the ongoing construction project at Cloquet's Queen of Peace Catholic School. Friday morning a construction crane and workers were lowering the massive steel beams and other pieces of a brand new roof for the school.
By: Wendy Johnson, Pine Journal
In June, the giant crane came to the hilltop by Queen of Peace Catholic Church and School to raze the roof.
Friday morning the crane reappeared -- this time to lift the massive steel beams that will hold up the school's new roof.
The crane represents an ambitious project to remove asbestos sheeting from the ceilings of the school, demolish the building’s aging roof, trusses and brickwork, and completely renovate and upgrade its classroom space.
Sister Therese Gutting is thrilled.
“This school is going to be fabulous,” she said in an earlier Pine Journal interview. “It will be bigger and completely up to code, with an elevator and complete handicapped accessibility.”
Almost a year ago to the day, Gutting took over the reins as principal at Queen of Peace School in Cloquet. Shortly thereafter, a group of workmen who were replacing some light fixtures in one of the classrooms discovered the ceiling in one area of the room appeared to be coming down. As they began to investigate, they discovered the outer wall of the building had begun to separate from the inner wall. An engineering firm doing some routine work on the outside of the building was called in to help investigate the root of the problem, and they subsequently discovered that one of the building’s original trusses was cracking, likely due to the weight of ice and snow that built up the previous winter. As it was cracking, it was pushing the
“They informed me it was a disaster waiting to happen,” said Gutting.
Engineers and contractors determined the roof of the school would need to be taken off and replaced, which would also involve nearly a complete renovation of the second-floor classrooms, as well as the abatement of asbestos in the ceiling tiles and the replacement of windows.
As it turned out, the school’s insurance was adequate enough to cover the cost of the estimated $4 million renovation, as well as the upgrade of an unused basement area of the school for interim classroom space until the renovation could be completed.
Boldt is the general contractor for the project, which is slated for completion next October, with the move into the new classroom space set to take place over the MEA break.
“This is a challenging project but it’s going to be a fun project,” stated Mike Gassert, project superintendent for Boldt. “Everything is going well so far.”
This story is an edited version of a story that appeared in the Pine Journal in June. <