School board given construction tour
By Angie Landsverk
The four classrooms being added to Weyauwega-Fremont High School are a few weeks away from being completed.
District Administrator Scott Bleck anticipates the wing will be open when second semester begins on Monday, Jan. 22.
“It’s ahead of schedule,” he said of the school’s building and improvement project.
The $20.6 million project also includes the addition of a 400-seat auditorium, a multipurpose gym and fitness area, a new school entry, HVAC updates and remodeling throughout the high school.
The new classrooms being added to the back of the school are for science, agriscience and the school’s Project Lead the Way curriculum.
Weyauwega-Fremont School Board members recently caught a glimpse of the areas under construction.
They toured the areas before the monthly board and committee meetings took place.
Miron Construction is the construction manager for the overall project, and Steve Lenz guided them through the spaces.
Lenz, the project superintendent, explained how the former study hall area is being transformed into a forum room with space for distance learning and collaboration.
That part of the project started as soon as the 2017-18 school year began, he said.
Board members joined the district’s administrative team in seeing the new classrooms, as well as the collaborative space being created outside of them.
The agriscience area will have space for hydroponics and an exit leading directly to the greenhouse.
It will also have a small animal and large animal lab.
“It’ll be neat to see how this transpires here,” Bleck said of the new science wing.
The auditorium is being built in front of the school and is scheduled to be completed next fall.
As board members and staff stood on what will be the auditorium’s stage, Bleck noted the fly space.
From there, the tour moved to the new multipurpose gym.
Bleck said it will be similar to W-F Middle School Gym.
It is also meant to eventually replace the gym in the district’s old middle school building on Main Street in Weyauwega.
The gym is scheduled to be completed in July.
This portion of the project also includes the remodeling of the high school’s locker rooms and creation of a new fitness area.
“It’ll be a very nice improvement, which our community is really going to appreciate when they have the opportunity to use it,” Bleck said of the fitness area.
Later, during the school board meeting, board member Kurt Duxbury said he wants to talk about how the fitness area will be open to the public.
“It will take some planning,” he said.
Bleck said, “The goal is to have it up and running the start of the next school year.”
Once the district determines how it will use its two new spaces – the multipurpose gym/fitness area and auditorium – there will be a discussion about opportunities for the public, he said.
Bleck said the district wants to evaluate how other school districts handle such spaces and then tweak it to meet the needs of the W-F School District.
In November 2016 voters in the school district approved spending up to $21 million on a building and improvement program.
In addition to the high school project, the approved referendum includes a $339,432 project at Fremont Elementary School.
That project consists of a new main entry along James Street.
The work is scheduled to take place over this summer and will involve moving the reception area and principal’s office from the middle of the building to the new entry area.
Back at the high school, some teachers are preparing to move into the new wing, while others have already or will be moving into temporary classrooms so other classrooms may be remodeled.
During the Christmas break, the high school’s front office shut down and relocated to the middle school office in anticipation of the work related to the high school entry area.
Bleck said the project is moving along well.
As soon as the interior spaces can be secured, the district wants to open the spaces up for the public to see, possibly on a Saturday, he said.
“It was impressive to see from the inside view instead of just from the outside,” board member Mark Alberts said of the tour.