Progress moving along nicely for DLPS district storage unit, locker room facilities

John B. Crane
Devils Lake Journal

DEVILS LAKE – Matt Bakke’s second day on the job was certainly a memorable one. 

Devils Lake's new storage and locker room facility will tentatively be completed on Oct. 28.

And a busy one too. 

As Devils Lake Publics Schools (DLPS) Superintendent, Bakke quickly had to jump into action in 2020 after Devils Lake’s previous storage unit blew down. Almost immediately, work began to get underway on a new storage unit that could also satisfy other needs. 

Locker facilities, in particular, stood out as an option. 

“Ultimately, we saw a need for additional storage as our district continues to progress in the amount of materials and things we have, as well as the activities that we have," Bakke s So, this will be able to provide storage and the capabilities to store quite a bit of our materials that we need across our entire district.” 

Fast forward to 2022, and Devils Lake’s new unit has started to show signs of completion. Once completed, the building – which contains 8,300 square feet of total floor space – will house a mezzanine, one district storage unit, one athletic storage unit, two locker rooms, two coaches’ rooms and one room for officials. Building costs totaled $1.9 million. 

One of two main storage spaces with mezzanine overlooking. Note the football field in background.

Mike Dunn, a business development manager for Construction Engineers, helped put together a master plan regarding different facility needs. These needs included the up-and-coming storage and locker facility. 

“Last summer, the school district started looking into some master-planning and different facility needs, and we were hired last year around July to help assist with that process,” Dunn said. “They hired [ICON Architectural Group] and our firm, and there was a number of projects, and a number of different facility needs identified in this locker room storage building were the first one in that master plan.” 

One of two locker rooms in new facility.

Construction on the building officially began in late April. Approximately 60 workers under more than a dozen sub-contracts have participated in the endeavor. 

Although the building is not yet complete, the light at the end of the tunnel is brighter than ever. The expected completion date of the building will be Oct. 28. 

The grand opening will undoubtedly be a memorable one, according to Bakke. 

“It’s an exciting time,” Bakke said. “It’s exciting to see progression for our district and for our students. [We] have the opportunity for our activities and our football team and our track and field team to have a place they can call home during the season. So, it’ll be a good opportunity for our students and a good opportunity for our district to continue to push the envelope and move forward.” 

John Crane is a sports/general assignment reporter for the Devils Lake Journal. Feel free to contact John via work phone (701-922-1372), cell phone (701-230-4339), email (jcrane@gannett.com), Instagram (johnbcranesports) or Twitter (@johncranesports) with any story ideas.