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Published March 08, 2012, 07:54 PM

After Fire, RRHS Theater Construction Moves Along

GRAND FORKS (WDAZ-TV) - A January fire that caused an evacuation of Red River High School has set back construction of the new theater.

By: Stacie Van Dyke, WDAZ

GRAND FORKS (WDAZ-TV) - A January fire that caused an evacuation of Red River High School has set back construction of the new theater.

The theater was supposed to open mid-July, but now crews hope to finish the theater this fall.

Construction workers say that without a doubt, the fire would cause a bit of a delay in construction, but they were busy working both inside and outside on Thursday to finish the new theater.

There were nearly 50 people working on the building. Project manager Don Bernhagen says the fire on the more than $9 million project could have been much worse.

"There was some exterior damage, but due to the fact that the building was just a shell at the point where the fire took place, damage was pretty minimal," Bernhagen said.

The theater was nearly half-way done at the time of the fire. The project was shut down for a few days, but for the most part, contractors were able to get right back to work

"Instead of working on the east end of the building, it's a big enough building that we just shifted to the west end of the building and started working east. Shortly we'll be caught up to the east side of the building where we need to start on repairs of the fire damage," Bernhagen said.

Bernhagen says those repairs have already begun to some extent, but luckily they aren't too significant, just two sections of the roof and insulation on the east side of the building need to be replaced

"Problems are minor. You just figure out what you have to do to make it work and make it work," Bernhagen said.

The Summer Performing Arts program is not expected to be affected by the construction.

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