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West De Pere school projects coming along

By Lee Reinsch

DE PERE – West De Pere School District construction projects approved by voter referendum last year are progressing well and under budget, according to an update from Miron Construction at the board’s Nov. 13 meeting held at Hemlock Creek Elementary School.

Currently in progress are upgrades to the West De Pere Middle School and Westwood Elementary School and grounds.

Craig Uhlenbrauck of Miron said Westwood’s upgraded cafeteria “looks awesome,” and the middle school’s library is “shaping up to be a really neat space.”

Westwood’s playground structures are finished, although the resurfacing facet of the project is on hold for better weather.

The wet summer and early winter hindered progress to the new softball fields, which are being moved from the middle school to Westwood, but the concession building is up and progressing on schedule.

Uhlenbrauck said the fields should be ready to use by spring 2021.

He said projects at the middle school are about $150,000 under budget right now, and renovations to Westwood are about $80,000 below.

“That’s great going into a more extensive project, because I guarantee something (unexpected) will come up with those,” said Uhlenbrauck.

Those larger construction projects, such as the new intermediate school (for fifth and sixth grade) to be built on the grounds of the current middle school, and construction of the new multi-purpose athletic facility and a two-story classroom addition onto the high school, have not yet begun.

They’re still in the design phase, although construction documents should be out by Christmas so bids can be finalized by the end of the year, Uhlenbrauck said.

The intermediate school should be substantially completed by July of 2021.

Because projects at the high school, which include rerouting the storm-water, expanding the parking lot, upgrading the track and stadium and constructing the athletic addition and classroom wing, encompass several different areas of the property, they won’t be ready until the following year, July 2022.

The school district is in the process of purchasing part of a property on Sixth Street, which is adjacent to the high school, for expansion of practice athletic fields.

“So many different areas of the school need to be touched so that will take a bit longer,” Uhlenbrauck said.
In other news:

• The board voted unanimously to purchase a new utility tractor for grounds crew use. The tractor is a Kubota L4760 with attachments and costs $58,120. District Finance Director Brian Walters said there were bids from multiple vendors and the Kubota was the best all-inclusive bid, including trade-in, tractor and all attachments.

• At its annual meeting in October, the school board voted to raise its salaries by 3 percent.

• West De Pere High School’s one-act cast and crew will joined 1,800 students at the Wisconsin High School Forensic Association’s theatre festival last weekend (Nov. 22-23) at UW-Milwaukee. Some 39 students are involved in the production of “The Rehearsal,” a short comedy.

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