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Project Update — September 25, 2018

September 25, 2018

Hello everyone. I hope this email finds you all well.

As you know, I usually share a summary of the agenda and action items from our monthly school board meetings, including more detailed explanations of certain action items. On the heels of last week’s board meeting and in lieu of my usual follow-up email, I thought it would be better to focus on additional details about a prominent referendum related topic which appears to be on many people’s minds.

We had approximately 100 passionate parents and community members on hand at the board meeting, many of whom were concerned about the status of the gymnasium/fitness center/wrestling area/kitchen & cafeteria spaces. I believe that many of the concerns were based on misinformation which had made its way into the community.

Thankfully we were able to provide accurate details, along with some new information at the start of the board meeting which proactively addressed many of the concerns. I also believe that those in attendance left feeling much better about where things are headed. Today I want to share the same information with you that was given to those at the board meeting.

The first thing to tell you is that the budgetary numbers previously provided to the public about the cost of some proposed changes to plans at the high school were inaccurate. By going back to our original referendum drawings and the budget approved by the school board on January 15 of this year, we found a solution to funding those proposed changes. The solution will result in a three full-court gym, with traditional concrete construction; not a pre-engineered build. I am pleased to say that we were able to solve the perceived deficit through design enhancements that maintain the original scope of the referendum, working in conjunction with our facilities planner, Nexus Solutions. 

Specifically, here’s what we have done to meet our needs for both today and the years ahead:

1) We made a design change that saved the taxpayers $1.14 million. These savings are created by having one middle-school and two high-school lunch periods thereby eliminating the need for a new middle-school cafeteria space while ensuring  that middle-schoolers won’t interact with high-schoolers during lunchtime.

2) We maintained the size of the new fitness center and enhanced it by providing a separate entrance, along with on-site changing rooms for community members.

3) We have created a space for high-school study hall that is adjacent to our new gym that will also provide for an overflow space when larger events are held in the gym such as graduation and tournaments.

4) We also created a new space for our wrestling program that adequately includes middle school. Quite frankly, this was missed in the referendum design process. Fortunately, the design process does allow for some flexibility. The solution we reached provides for a pre-engineered 5-mat, multi-purpose building for wrestling, Phys. Ed. class and the activities of other athletic programs.

No other part of the referendum budget will be affected by the changes specified above. In addition, we will be proceeding with the installation of lights on our existing soccer field, as originally planned.

The expressed desire to transition our football field to an artificial-turf surface to allow for increased use, including for non-football activities, will continue to be explored by school administration and the football boosters. We will keep you updated as developments warrant.

I would like to close by offering the reminder that, “We Are Spartans” together and that the first priority of our school board, administrators, teachers and staff remains the best interests of our students. If you have additional concerns, please feel free to contact me at gschlender@luxcasco.k12.wi.us or (920) 845-2391, ext. 103.

Glenn Schlender