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THE CITY REBORN FROM THE ASHES OF AMERICA'S MOST DISASTROUS FOREST FIRE
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Peshtigo Citizens Building Committee Favors New School

Issue Date: January 3, 2018

Price estimates between the cost of remodeling the existing Peshtigo Middle School/High School building or replacing it with an entirely new facility were discussed at a meeting of the Citizens Advisory Building Committee meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 2. Cost to remodel was estimated at approximately$25,250,000 versus an estimated $29,960,000 cost to build new.

More than 50 percent of those who responded to a recent community survey said they were in favor of building new, but weren't in favor of the original $34,000,000 cost. Subsequently architects revised some of the tentative plans to bring the price down.

Survey results will be presented to the Peshtigo School Board at its next meeting and a decision to proceed with the referendum for financing construction of a new building is then expected.

Representatives from Miron Construction and Sommerville Architects were present to give the results of the survey, along with details on the next steps to take, timelines and the committee's recommendation option to the Board of Education. Megan Prestebak, Business Development Specialist in Education for Miron Construction of Green Bay, stated the general comment from the past survey attempt included more wants than needs and it was unorganized. The recent general survey consensus was to focus on educational needs and not a larger gym or extracurriculars.

Of the $25,250,000 to remodel, 10 million of that would be allocated for a full system replacement of the air conditioning and heating system and 3 million for new lighting and window upgrades.

At present there are several rooms that get very warm in warmer months and very cold in winter months. The 30 year old system was said to be in is need of replacement and maintenance. Parking would remain an issue as there is no room for expansion.

The remodel option is basically to remodel only and does not include any structural changes. It would take two academic years to complete. With $13 million allocated for system and lighting replacements only, other remodel options will need to be cut from the budget.

Remodel projects still included are new locker rooms, move library to second floor, increase some classroom sizes, kitchen would increase from 1,800 square feet to 1,900 square feet to allow for replacement of appliances, improve building security, increase of Tech Ed and minor adjustments elsewhere.

Not addressed were classroom sizes, parking congestion, pedestrian safety, space for future expansion and increased gym size. A new school would address all of the concerns not included in the remodeling.

The prior new building estimated cost was approximately $34 million for the 154,000 square feet structure. Miron/Sommerville reviewed the plans and brought the square footage down to 125,000 square to lower the cost to $29,960,000. The current school square footage is 109,000 and a rebuild would be 125,000 square feet with room to expand for future growth.

The survey spoke loud and clear to focus on academic needs not extracurriculars. 56% of the residents want to go to a referendum but unsure if it should be to remodel or a new build. Residents did not like the original cost of $34 million, so Miron made adjustments to lower the cost near the $29,960,000 for a new building. A majority supported a new school as opposed to sticking money into remodeling and still have the old building to maintain with no room for expansion.

For a referendum estimated at $30 million, the total tax mill rate would be $195 on a home assessed at $100,000.

After discussion, the Citizens Building Committee will propose the School Board to have a referendum in April for building a new school.


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