CG Schmidt Senior Project Manager Justin Johnson presented the Riverview Elementary Facility Project cost estimate for the option the Wautoma Area School Board requested to be priced out during the monthly meeting on Aug. 8 at Wautoma High School.

According to Johnson, the total cost of the entire project, which includes site work, additions, renovations, and the upgraded maintenance of the current building the total would range from $30,334,169 to $33,377,452 taking into account inflation and cost of materials in the spring/summer of 2024.

When giving the subtotal cost of just the sitework, additions, and renovations the range would be from $26,086,406 to $28,832,404. The remaining $4.2 to $4.5 million would be used to upgrade the maintenance list that would not be covered by the renovations and/or additions to the school. By requesting a $30.3 to $33.3 million possible referendum in the spring of 2023, the Board is ensuring everything is completed at once and the upgrades as well as maintenance are captured in one referendum.

Johnson explained how CG Schmidt gets the numbers for each element of the project using a long history of data, similar projects, and current trends. Plunkett Raysich Architects, LLP, (PRA) works alongside CG Schmidt in order to price out the cost of the light renovations, which can include ceilings and carpets; medium renovations or complete interiors of rooms; heavy renovations which takes down everything to the studs; and brand new spaces, such as the addition of a secure office space, lounge and music and art rooms.

Following Johnson’s presentation, District Administrator Tom Rheinheimer explained to the Board he did ask the question about the cost of building an entirely new school rather than renovate the current elementary school. Rheinheimer said not only would the Board be looking at purchasing more land, but also the increased cost of site development and the tearing down of the old school down in order to create a green space.

WASD Board Member Ross Peterson asked Johnson what the cost of a brand new school would be, with Johnson stating the school would need between 40 to 80 acres and it would be hard to know the cost of utility expansion as well as the potential size of the new school. He did state that the cost of the new building alone may be similar in price to the renovations to the current elementary school, however, it would not be taking into account the price of more acquiring land, utility and infrastructure to new site, and the tearing down of the current school.

Vice President Barry Mastricola and Board Member Adam Heding agreed in order to provide the constituents the full picture they would need to price out what the cost would be to build rather than the major renovations to the existing elementary school. Rheinheimer explained with the renovations planned for Riverview they are essentially getting a brand new school but just using the existing space. With a community survey going out to homes in October, the district will hope to see what opinions are best for the community and the project.

Prior to Johnson’s presentation, School Perceptions Research Director and Project Manager Rob DeMeuse, Ph.D., presented the draft of the district-wide survey to solicit feedback from residents about the possible options to address Riverview Elementary’s immediate and long-range building and maintenance needs. To ensure the survey conducted remains confidential, all of the data is returned to School Perceptions. A survey is projected to be mailed to all district residents this fall, with the option to choose to take the survey online or via the mail.

Following the presentations, WASD Director of Curriculum and Instruction presented on the ESSR III Budget for 2022-2024, and the board went on to approve: the minutes of the July 11, 2022, Monthly Meeting; resignations of Joshua Barker, WHS Choral Music Teacher, and Jack Eagan, Football, WHS Assistant Coach; the hiring of: KC McGlynn, WHS English Teacher; Lori Curtin, Riverview Kindergarten Teacher; Maria Stake, Redgranite 4K Teacher; Jacob Mathias, WHS Link Crew Advisor; Eric Schunke, Riverview A+ After School Site Coordinator; Penny Meek, Volleyball, Grade 8 Assistant Coach; Molly Siefert, Riverview Steering Team MAPES Representative; A+ After School Staff; Vicki Poeschel, McComb/Bruchs PAC Executive Director; Dan Scharnhorst, McComb/Bruchs PAC Box Office Supervisor; July 2022 Treasurer’s Report; vouchers and payroll; the extracurricular coaching pay increases; and the revision to Board Policy 6424-Purchasing Cards, 1st and 2nd Consideration.

A work meeting of the Wautoma Area School Board will be held on Monday, August 15, at Wautoma High School, and their next monthly meeting will be on Monday, September 12, 2022, at 6:15 PM in the Parkside School Library.