About 30 people braved cold temperatures late Monday afternoon as they toured the building project that is underway at Kewaskum High School and Kewaskum Middle School.
Community members were invited to tour the site, with members of the school administration and C.D. Smith Construction, Inc., explaining the progress made thus far. The visitors were able to get a feel for what the new middle school will look like, with structural walls and steel frames now in place.
So far, the project is running on schedule, so that students can attend the new middle school in September. This week, concrete flooring was poured on the first level of the middle school, and a second story will soon emerge. The district’s plan includes attaching a new two-story middle school to the current high school.
The high school facility will be upgraded as well. One of the design challenges was overcoming a seven-foot difference in elevation between the two schools’ foundations. As a solution, a tiered courtyard is being built between the two schools.
The area will be able to seat around 300 people and can be used for theatrical performances as well as classroom space. Last November, voters approved a $28.42 million referendum to improve the middle school and high school facilities.
At the time, it was predicted that the project would cause a tax increase of 19 cents per $1,000 of property value. Due to growth in the community and increases in local housing values, property owners are seeing and increase of only 7.5 cents per $1,000 worth of property.
Bids have been coming in lower than expected as well, allowing the School Board to incorporate additional items from its wish list to the project. For example, plans are now for a brick exterior to replace the metal siding on the west side of the high school building. “The School Board and administration are constantly monitoring the construction, with the goal of maximizing the approved referendum dollars,” Superintendent James Smasal said.