Monday, July 15, 2013

July 15, 2013 Referendum Update

Department of Transportation Visit
On July 1, two representatives from the Department of Transportation met with representatives from the School District and Village to review our proposal to change the direction of Coe Street in a manner that would allow for the construction of the multipurpose addition, improve student pick up/drop off in front of the high school, and connect school district walkways to proposed village paths.  The pictures below illustrate what was presented to the DOT.




The pictures do not include the area currently used by Hundt Implement to store farming equipment.  However,  this information was communicated to the DOT, and the district is accounting for the fact that Hundt Implement owns land in front of the school.  The pictures are drawn to reflect Kissel Street’s current configuration.  However, the ramifications of the Village proposal to extend Kissel Street through to Hwy 33 we discussed.  This will reduce the size of the MS/HS parking lot.  It is yet to be determined how the land vacated by Coe Street east of Kissel will be developed.  It possibly could be used for more parking or for green space.  This decision will have to be made in conjunction with all parties who own land in that area.

The feedback from the DOT was generally positive.  They saw nothing initially that would be problematic.  The distances between the “new” Coe Street/Hwy 33 intersection and the “new” Kissel Street/Hwy 33 intersection were measured.  They were encouraged by the decrease in access points onto Hwy 33, but wanted to make sure the distance between access points was acceptable.

The adjustment of Coe Street will require the rerouting of water and utilities.  The village and engineers from SDS Architects are currently investigating the logistics of how to move these in the most cost efficient manner.  Engineers have been asked to make sure that the water and sewer capacity is adjusted to meet the demand of the new addition.

MS/HS Project Design Workshop
On Tuesday, July 9 we completed our fourth design workshop.  Members of the MS/HS faculty and Facilities Committee participated in a joint meeting to review the schematic design for the MS/HS multipurpose addition and remodeling.

The group reviewed the exterior design of the MS/HS (pictured above).  The group felt the flow of parking lot was an improvement from the current configuration.  The addition clarifies the front entrance and improves the “securability” of the school.  It provides a pedestrian friendly route to buses, the elementary school,  and to Hwy 33 crosswalks.  Members of the group questioned how close the addition will be to Kissel Street.  SDS architects are going to investigate to determine if adjustments to the design plan will be needed.

The amount of parking was questioned.  The current schematic will likely result in a decrease in the number of parking spots at the school.  The group discussed possible solutions such as having the students park at the elementary or future land acquisition to create more parking.

The group asked the architects to look at possible ways to introduce natural light into the building.  It was observed that the addition will result in the loss of windows in five classrooms.



FIRST FLOOR FEATURES

Athletic Multipurpose Area

  • This area will include equipment from the cardio lab and new speed, strength, and conditioning equipment.  
  • It will be used by physical education students, student-athletes, and community members.
  • Moving the cardio-lab equipment will expand the size of our cafeteria.
  • Proper storage was discussed, it was determined that more storage areas may be needed.


Half Court Gym

  • This space will have two stories.
  • The floor will be a multipurpose material similar to the field-house at UW-LaCrosse.
  • The area can be used for speed and conditioning drills; plyometric activities, team sports such as volleyball, badminton, or basketball; and co-curricular spring practices.
  • Group members indicated a desire to have a visual and acoustic connection between the gym and the athletic multi-purpose area for coaching and teaching purposes.  Operable partitions, glass walls, large “roll up” doors were discussed as solutions.
  • Removing the wall on the east side of the court was discussed to increase the usable area in half court gym.

Bathrooms/Changing Areas

  • The group discussed the need for additional space in the bathrooms for students or community members to change or to shower.  It was determined that each bathroom would only need one shower stall and changing area.  

Stairwell/Elevator

  • The multipurpose area has its own stairwell and elevator.  This allows for the area to be secured from other school locations.

Main Office

  • The main office is reconfigured in a manner that requires entry to the school through the main office.  
  • Administrative offices will be relocated to the opposite side of the hallway.  The classroom located in this area will be relocated to the current main office space.  The new classroom space may be large enough to accommodate additional storage space.



2ND FLOOR FEATURES

Academic Multipurpose Area

  • The area is large enough for three classroom spaces.  The design includes operable partitions to divide the space into three separate classrooms or into one or two larger classrooms.
  • The multipurpose rooms provide a space to complete academic activities that are challenging to complete in smaller classroom spaces.  The group identified the space could be used for group activities, demonstrations, project work time, presentations, skits, practice areas for plays/forensics, and small banquets.  In addition, the space would be available for community use after hours.
  • As enrollment grows these classrooms will transition into fixed classrooms.  The area connects to both middle school and high school second floor hallways.  This was viewed as advantageous because it allows the rooms to be transitioned to either middle or high school rooms based on need.
  • A presentation screen, robust wireless connections, a small presentation/stage area, a countertop and sink, and dedicated outlets for “potlucks” were elements discussed that would make this space educationally effective.
  • The flooring of this area may be epoxy, linoleum, or higher quality sheet vinyl.

Bathroom

  • The addition will include another set of bathrooms on the second floor.  A welcome addition to a floor with only one set of bathrooms.

Half Court Gym

  • The space above the gym is open.  This will allow for athletic activities that require a higher space.


Purchase of Pieper and Connelly Properties
On Friday, June 21 the district officially closed on the Pieper and Connelly properties.  The district is currently working with CESA 10, to properly address the environmental issues associated with the removal of the house at 525 Coe Street.

Relocation Plan Accepted by the Department of Administration
On Wednesday, June 26 the district received word from the DOA that our relocation plan was formally accepted.  I met with Peter Miesbauer our relocation consultant on July 2.  The next step of the plan will be for Mr. Miesbauer to meet with each displaced tenant and determine their specific relocation settlement.  These settlements will be turned over to the district for approval and distribution.  In the meantime, we are in the process of scheduling the closings for the Bolchen (Apartments) and Hundt properties.

Monday, July 1, 2013

July 1, 2013 Referendum Update

Village and School Board Discussion Session
On Monday, June 24, the Village Board and the School Board met to discuss Coe Street, Kissel Street, the MS/HS parking lot, and the MS/HS entrances.   Representatives from the school reviewed the current schematic design plans for the MS/HS facilities project.  In addition, representatives from the Village board reviewed their plans for extending Kissel Street and removing the Coe Street/Front Street intersection.  The school board explained how changes to Coe Street in front of the MS/HS would improve student safety and and also improve the current parking lot area.
One possible solution that was discussed was closing down Coe Street between Lewis Street and Kissel Street.  Closing down Coe would eliminate traffic in front of the middle/high school, and allow the district to configure the lot in a manner that separates bus drop off, student parking, and parent/student drop off.  Members of the Village board indicated that this would be inconvenient for residents in the Schneider/Brody neighborhood when they attempted to access Front Street heading east.  In addition, it would increase the amount of traffic on Lewis Street and the Lewis Street/Front Street intersection.  The group recognized the design of the Lewis/Front Street intersection was not ideal.
Moving, rather than closing, the section of Coe Street adjacent to the MS/HS to wrap around the proposed multi-purpose addition was also discussed. The group recognized the need to change Coe Street if the multi-purpose addition is added to the northeast portion of the MS/HS building.  Members from the village board indicated that redirecting Coe Street in front of the school would not be an problem, as it would result in no change of current traffic patterns.  The concern for this option is that it still splits the entire parking lot from the school, and limits parking lot reorganization options and future expansion for the school.
The group also suggested having Coe Street veer North and, as a result, provide a new access point to Front Street along the Western edge of the current MS/HS parking lot.  In this option, the village would consider vacating the street in front of the multi-purpose addition.  This represents a possible compromise in which the school would have options for reorganizing the parking lot layout and limiting traffic in front of the school.  This option maintains a logical Front Street access for residents in the Schneider/Brody neighborhood.  Mr. Beckum indicated that this option should be presented to the department of transportation as soon as possible.  He is concerned that the DOT may not approve the change if the “new” Coe Street and the “new” Kissel Street intersections are too close together.  The group agreed that a meeting with DOT should be arranged.  Mr. Beckum and I contacted the DOT, and a representative will be at the school on Monday, July 1st.
Other topics were discussed.  No formal actions were taken on any of these items.
There is a safety concern when student athletes drive from the MS/HS parking lot to the ELEM parking lot at the end of the day.
Closing Coe Street between Lewis and Kissel streets only during school hours was considered.
What will happen to the land north east of the MS/HS after the Kissel project is complete?  Could this be a new parking lot? Green space or a small park?


Elementary Project Design Workshop
On Thursday, June 27, we completed a third design workshop.  The workshop consisted of two sessions, one for elementary faculty and one for members of the facilities/stakeholder committee.  The results of the meeting were positive and reflected a general consensus of those present.

Dale Poynter and Chelsea Swanson from SDS Architects presented five schematic designs to the group.  The schematic designs were variations of previous designs.  Early in this meeting, it was clear the draft design below was the most popular.  In this design, the parent pick up/drop off parking lot remains in the same general location.  However, it is expanded and sidewalks are added to allow for students and visitors to get to the main entrance without crossing lanes of traffic.   Angled parking on the north side of the parking lot replaces the parking in the center median of the lot.    Faculty members supported this design because it clearly designates the main entrances, utilizes the existing access roads, and will not be a big change for parents/visitors.  Additionally, the design supports future expansion if necessary to the west of the current building.


Faculty members in attendance favored the new classrooms in one standard (3 classroom by 3 classroom) hallway rather than surrounding a central rectangular open area.
The location of the new bathrooms was discussed.  Teachers wanted to make sure that the location of the bathrooms supported reasonable needs for supervision while also minimizing disruptions for adjacent classrooms.  In this design, the new restrooms are close to the office which was identified as a favorable location.
The parking lot south west of the school would be used primarily as a faculty parking lot and for event/bus parking which in turn increases available spaces in the current northeast lot.   The size and exact location of this parking lot is flexible.
The group favored leaving the cafeteria space open and felt that, with the addition of storage space in front of the current receiving room, there was no additional need for general storage rooms in the new cafeteria beyond that needed to serve the kitchen.   Below is a 3D interpretation of this schematic design.




MS/HS Project Design Workshop Scheduled
I am encouraged by the progress that we have made at the elementary school, and I am hopeful that we will continue to build positive momentum for the MS/HS project with the Village and with the Department of Transportation.  I have been in contact with Mr. Poynter over the past week, and he is using the feedback, questions, and comments we have already provided to add detail to the schematic design for MS/HS project.  We are at a point in which Mr. Poynter would like to gain more design feedback.  I would like to schedule a MS/HS focused workshop for both faculty and interested members of the facilities/stakeholder committee.  The date we have selected is Tuesday, July 9 at 7:00 pm.