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3-year facility improvement plan approved for W-MU

GTNS photo by David Hotle

Samuel Johnson, of BLDD Architects, shows the plans he created from three possible plans to improve the Winfield-Mt. Union School building.
GTNS photo by David Hotle Samuel Johnson, of BLDD Architects, shows the plans he created from three possible plans to improve the Winfield-Mt. Union School building.

WINFIELD — After years of studying the best way to improve the Winfield-Mt. Union school building, the school board only took about a minute of deliberation before officially adopting an improvement plan for the district.

Samuel Johnson, of BLDD Architects, went through the plan during a work session before the regular meeting Wednesday.As the board had previously discussed the issue during a prior work session, they approved the design, as well as a timeline for the construction. As a fallback, the council also discussed the stand-alone installation of a HVAC environment system. The $3 million HVAC system can be installed with funds the district has, but the district would not have funds for any other improvements for 10 years.

“A lot is riding on the passage of a bond issue,” superintendent Jeff Maeder commented.

The issue will go to vote in April. During the December meeting, the board learned instead of $6.1 million the total project would cost, the total would be between $7.5 and $7.9 million. Previously, the board had intended to bond for $4.3 million for the project, which would add $2.70 per $1,000 of assessed valuation to property taxes.

According to the proposed three-year master plan Johnson unveiled, phase 1 of the project would cover the renovation of a bank building the district is in the process of purchasing; upgrading the pre-K extension; do renovations to the band and music rooms and the commons area; and install the HVAC system. The phase would cost $6,250,000. Phase 2 of the plan would renovate the school’s gym including the addition of seating. This would cost $1,125,000 and is dependent on state Secure an Advanced Vision for Education (SAVE) funding, which has not been confirmed will continue. If the funding is approved, the renovations would take place in the summer of 2020 and part of 2021.

Maeder reiterated during the meeting that the installation of an HVAC system is something that needs to be done.

A previous two-question bond issue to fund school improvements was narrowly defeated in February 2017. In that issue, the district had asked for $4 per $1,000 of assessed valuation.