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SUPERINTENDENT'S COLUMN: Facilities needs plan close to presentation

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By Barry Cain

Ellsworth School Superintendent

Since May 2012, the Ad Hoc Facilities Committee for the Ellsworth School District has been working to develop plans to address the ongoing facility needs of our school district.

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This committee was developed through a school board goal as a way to involve community members, school board members and staff in the process.

Back in November of this past school year, the committee reported its findings to the school board and recommended the involvement of professionals to investigate the best path to addressing our needs. A PowerPoint presentation and audio description of this plan is available on the Facilities Page of our website at www.ellsworth.k12.wi.us.

Through the committee’s work, and the involvement of a construction manager and architect, our district is now close to presenting a plan for one elementary school to house all of our four-year-old kindergarten through grade five students. The location of this school is presently proposed to be directly east of the senior high school. This would develop a campus housing all of our schools in the Village of Ellsworth.

Drafts of this plan are continuing to be revised while taking into consideration transportation, field spaces for phy ed classes, recess, sports and community use, and the local educational programs currently in place. We are also studying the best paths to address security in all of our buildings, along with the aging mechanical structures at our pool, senior high school and middle school.

The Ad Hoc Facilities Committee will meet again on Tuesday, Sept. 17, at 6 p.m. in the high school library. The work of this committee is nearly complete as the district looks to finalize plans to bring a referendum to the community in February or April of this school year.

As our committee has identified, we have a number of facilities needs that include space, educationally appropriate facilities, security and aging infrastructure. As we move toward a referendum, I encourage our community members to involve themselves in the process to fully understand our proposal and the needs we look to address. As a district, we will work to provide the information necessary for our community members to make an informed decision through our web site, continued articles, our newsletters and through information meetings at a number of locations.

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