Monday, September 30, 2013

September 30, 2013 Referendum Update

Last Monday at the Annual Meeting the electorate voted to give the Board of Education the authority to acquire the three properties highlighted in the picture below.  The actual vote was 73-Yes and 25-No.


Prior to the District purchasing these properties, we must complete a land survey; conduct a Phase I Environmental Assessment; and appraise each property.  I have scheduled each of these, and they should be completed over the next couple weeks.

I will be asking SDS Architects to begin the process of creating multiple interior and exterior designs for the MS/HS project.  The goal is to present this information to the Facilities and Faculty committees by the end of October.  The exact dates for these workshops have not been set.  

The electorate also authorized the Board of Education to sell obsolete and/or unneeded school property. The plan is to schedule an auction after the asbestos abatement process at 525 Coe Street and the Lewis Street apartments is complete.  It will be hard to predict the exact date of the auction until this process is complete.  However, we will make sure to publicize the date of the auction in the Cashton Record.

We are confident that the elementary project is ready for the general contractor bidding process.   Indications are that we will have a number of capable and qualified firms that will be bidding on the project.  SDS is coordinating the exact bid date in a manner that will allow for the most competitive bids.  

Thursday, September 19, 2013

September 19, 2013 Referendum Update

BOARD OF EDUCATION APPROVES LAND ACQUISITION VOTE
At its September 18th meeting, the Board of Education approved the agenda for its Annual Meeting on September 23, 2013 at 7:00 pm.  The agenda includes two resolutions that pertain to the referendum.  The first is a vote to authorize the School Board to acquire, by purchase, the site located as described below to be designated as a school site pursuant to Sections 120.10(5m) and (5) of the Wisconsin Statutes.


The parcels being considered for purchase and designation as a school site are the following:
1.   Parcel ID No. 111-00398-0000 (566 Schneider St.) in the Village of Cashton, Wisconsin;
2.   Parcel ID No. 111-00399-0000 (556 Schneider St.), in the Village of Cashton, Wisconsin;
3.   Parcel ID No. 111-0040-0000 (546 Schneider St.), in the Village of Cashton, Wisconsin.

The Board intends to purchase the land for the purpose of constructing an addition to the school that aligns with the goals of the referendum.  The acquisition of these properties allows the District the opportunity to build on a preferred site.  It represents an investment in land which has multiple uses versus the expenses related to moving a road.  The site has more space, which allows for logical future expansion and the opportunity for green space.

It is important to note that the costs associated with the purchase of this land will be part of the referendum project.  It will not require additional levying of taxes or the diverting of Fund 10 educational revenues.  The referendum has passed.  The district will be be completing the multi-purpose addition.  If the electorate does not authorize the purchase of this property, the district will move forward with the project at another location.  The proposed site on the southeast corner of the current building was identified by the community stakeholder group, the facilities committee, and the Board of Education as the preferred site.  The property needed to build in this location was not available for sale at the time of the information sessions and the subsequent referendum vote.

Below are some basic designs created by SDS as options for the addition.  One advantage of this location is it will allow the district to design the interior structure in a manner that enhances and adds to the current facility.  It is important to note that the design development process for the project is not complete.  In the end, the multipurpose area will contain a flexible physical education/athletic area; additional classroom areas; and a redesigned main entrance.  The exact size, layout, and other specific elements can not be determined until a site is selected.








BOARD OF EDUCATION SEEKS APPROVAL SALE OF OBSOLETE AND/OR UNNEEDED SCHOOL PROPERTY
To fulfil the goals of the referendum, additional land has been purchased.  Existing buildings on the properties do not align with the needs of the district and need to be removed or demolished prior to construction.  Until that occurs, the district now owns materials that are not relevant to the mission, vision, and purpose of the district.  They may, however, be of value to others.  Prior to disposing of these materials, the district would like to hold an auction to sell this material.  Additional items not associated with the obtained properties that are obsolete, inefficient, or no longer needed may be included for sale also.  To hold an auction, the Board must ask the electorate for approval to sell obsolete and/or unneeded school property.  This vote will occur at the annual meeting.  If approved, the district schedule an auction some time in the Fall which will be published prior to the event.



Wednesday, September 11, 2013

September 10, 2013 Referendum Update

Facilities Committee and MS/HS Faculty Provide Location Feedback Options
On Wednesday, September 4, the MS/HS Faculty and the Facilities Committee had the opportunity to provide feedback related to the location and scope of the multi-purpose addition at the MS/HS.  The current schematic design adds the multi-purpose area in the northeast corner of the school.  Over the past month, the District learned that three properties southwest of the school are for sale.  The property locations are highlighted:

When the Board of Education learned of the possibility of obtaining these properties, they asked SDS Architects to create a schematic design in which the multi-purpose area would be added to the southwest corner of the school.   The intent was to determine if the southwest corner presents a better, more cost efficient, option for the multi-purpose addition and whether it would better support future expansions as needed.  If, based on feedback from the faculty and the facilities committee, the Board of Education identifies the southwest corner of the school as the ideal location for the MS/HS expansion, then they will ask the Electorate to consider the acquisition of the following properties:  566 Schneider, 556 Schneider, and 546 Schneider.  This vote would be held in conjunction with the District’s Annual Meeting on Monday, September 23 at 7:00 pm in the High School Gym.

At the Faculty and Facilities Committee meetings on Wednesday, both groups reviewed the “Northeast” and “Southwest” options.  Below is a summary of the their analysis.

The Northeast Option
Completing the addition onto the northeast corner of the school would require building out into Coe Street.  The district has learned moving the street (as is pictured above) would require the movement of water and sewer below the road and the addition of new curb and gutters for the portion of the street that veers towards Hwy 33.  Engineers from Delta 3 Engineering, Inc. estimated that these changes would cost $115,000-$175,000.   Above ground electrical lines would have to be rerouted or buried, at an additional cost.

Northeast Option Faculty/Facilities Feedback
Positives
Integrates the essential aspects of the referendum.
Centrally locates the multi-purpose addition for community use.
Provides a connection between the existing gym and the proposed cardio-lab area.
Diverts traffic on Coe further away from the front of the school.
Provides pedestrian friendly access to Hwy 33.

Negatives
The size and location of the addition will require an expensive road configuration.
If the district elects to not move the road, the size and scope of the addition would have to be reduced.
Both the original and scaled back version of the Northeast option reduce current parking availability.
When (If) the Village extends Kissel Street to Hwy. 33 the overall amount of parking in front of the school will be further reduced.
The expansion of the building to the Northwest reduces the distance between the main entry and State Highway 33 which could impact safety.


The Southwest Option
Completing the addition at the southwest corner of the school would require removing an underground diesel fuel barrel, rerouting gas and electric feeds into the building, and changing the configuration of the garage door into the technical education shop.  In addition, it would require the acquisition of three properties at an estimated cost of $180,000.  As is noted in the picture, the entrance to the school and main office would be redesigned to address needs for secure access and student safety.  This redesign may extend into Coe Street slightly, however, it would not require major adjustments to the road.

Southwest Option Faculty/Facilities Feedback
Positives
Integrates the essential aspects of the referendum.
There is more space, which allows for logical future expansion and green space.
The district would be investing in land acquisition which has multiple uses versus moving a road.
Could eliminate the need for a second elevator.
The proximity to the locker rooms make the new cardio-lab space functional.
Alleviates the need for more storage for district vans, trailers, and other maintenance equipment.
Maximizes the amount of classrooms that have windows.

Negatives
Changing the location would result in back tracking on design development.
There costs of removing the fuel barrel and burying utilities is unknown.
Requires the removal of houses and other site preparation.
May require property rezoning.

Discussion of Reducing the Size of the Multipurpose Addition
At each meeting, the discussion of reducing the size of the multipurpose addition was discussed.  Both groups indicated reducing the size of the multipurpose addition should only be done if it is necessary to complete the project within the authorized referendum amount.

If the Board of Education identifies the southwest corner of the school as the ideal location for the MS/HS expansion, they will ask the Electorate to consider the acquisition of the following properties:  566 Schneider, 556 Schneider, and 546 Schneider.  This vote would be held in conjunction with the District’s Annual Meeting on Monday, September 23 at 7:00 pm in the High School Gym.