The public was invited to an open house Friday, Nov. 8, for Cloquet's newest apartment complex, Carlton Lofts. The former Cloquet Middle School building was converted into an apartment complex; several units expected to be ready for tenants Dec. 1.

There will be 57 one-, two- and three-bedroom units in the smoke-free building. Pets will be allowed for a fee. Underground parking will be available for an additional cost. The market-rate units start at $935 per month for a two-bedroom, one-bathroom apartment. Section 42 housing units begin at $650 for a one-bedroom apartment.

According to Kelsey Voyce, property manager for the new apartments, they are sorting through a stack of tenant applications.

Kathy Ketola submitted her application and is waiting to hear back. She said her husband has health issues and can no longer climb stairs, so they need to move out of their old two-story home.

A retired Cloquet schoolteacher, Ketola was also a volunteer in many of the schools, including the former middle school. She said her tease her about possibly living in the building she once worked in.

“This was an excellent idea,” Ketola said. “I did not want to see the school demolished, but it was no longer safe for children. This is the best way to go.”

Many people touring the old Middle School apartments were happy to see some of the vintage details staying, including lockers, some of the wall tiles and chalkboards in some of the apartments. Jamie Lund/Pine Journal
Many people touring the old Middle School apartments were happy to see some of the vintage details staying, including lockers, some of the wall tiles and chalkboards in some of the apartments. Jamie Lund/Pine Journal