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Kyle Potter, Published August 26 2013

Work still remains, but West Fargo's new Liberty Middle School will open today

WEST FARGO – There is sod yet to be planted, ceiling tiles that still need to be installed and finishing touches to be made.

So is the sleek new Liberty Middle School ready for a horde of nearly 1,000 tweens and teens for the first day of classes today?

“The short answer is yes,” West Fargo Public Schools Superintendent David Flowers said Monday.

Students will be shuffled to temporary space for music classes for the next two weeks, when the school’s music wing should be finished. And the auditorium and weight room won’t open until sometime in October, but those delays were planned.

The remaining jobs to be done are largely issues of fashion – not function.

“We can clean up small things as we go along,” Principal Denise Jonas said after a tour of the three-floor, 218,000-square-foot building. “We’re close to being able to button things up.”

Jonas expects about 770 sixth-, seventh- and eighth-graders for the first day of school. Another 210 fifth-graders will attend Liberty for the year until the district’s new elementary school is complete.

Construction crews are still set up in the school’s back parking lot. Mounds of earth – not freshly mown grass – surround the school.

Officials anticipate it will be completely done in October when the auditorium opens, just in time for the start of the musical season.

“Knock on wood,” Jonas said.

Readers can reach Forum reporter

Kyle Potter at (701) 241-5502