Minnesota West carpentry students are expected to complete twork on the house at 411 West Main Street early in 2022. K. Kuphal

Minnesota West Community and Technical College carpentry students are expected to complete work on the house at 411 West Main Street in Pipestone by next spring. In the meantime, work will be done to prepare the next house for the students to renovate at 622 Third Ave. SW in Pipestone.

Jim Stout, Pipestone Economic Development Authority (EDA) and Pipestone City Council member, said during the Nov. 8 EDA meeting that framing work inside the 411 West Main Street house and construction of a garage was complete, shingling was nearly done, and siding work was about to begin. He said plumbing and venting has been installed as well, and the plumbing students were in the process of “tying drains together.”

“Hopefully, in two weeks we’re going to be out of there with the plumbing part,” Stout said.

Stout said he’s been hired to lead Minnesota West’s plumbing program temporarily to fill a vacancy. The EDA approved, with Stout abstaining, hiring Rick Melcher to complete the heating work at the property due to that vacancy. Stout said Melcher will bill the EDA for his work and Minnesota West will reimburse the EDA for the cost, which has not yet been determined.

There will also be some unanticipated plumbing work done at the property. Stout said the sewer line has collapsed and the water line is galvanized and will be replaced. Double D Gravel has been hired for $3,400 to install new sewer and water lines into the house and do the necessary trench work. City Administrator Jeff Jones said there are contingency funds available in the budget for the project to pay for that work.

Stout said two parties have already expressed interest in the 411 West Main Street property.

He said Minnesota West carpentry instructor Shawn Berning is hoping to begin shingling at the 622 Third Ave. SW house after the first of the year.

“If he gets a decent day, he’ll go and start that,” Stout said.

The EDA approved paying Advanced Health, Security & Safety approximately $11,000 and not more than $15,000 for asbestos abatement, demolition and cleaning out of the 622 Third Ave. SW property to prepare it for the carpentry students. Pipestone Building and Zoning Official Doug Fortune said one room of the house will be left for the carpentry students to do demolition work in, so they can get some experience with that, but be able to spend most of their time on construction.

Because of the 622 Third Ave. SW property’s high visibility along state Highway 30, the EDA is developing signs to place outside it to promote the partnership between the EDA, Minnesota West and Pipestone Area Schools (PAS), and thank those who helped finance the renovation projects done through the partnership.

The EDA purchases blighted houses to be renovated by Minnesota West carpentry students, which include PAS students, using the EDA’s blight fund that was established in 2017 with $75,000 from Pipestone Veterinary Services and another $75,000 from other businesses and community members. Once the renovations are complete, the EDA sells the properties and the proceeds are used to purchase and renovate other houses.

The 622 Third Ave. SW house will be the fifth renovated through the partnership.

MN West continues with house projects

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