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Looking ahead to SV Elementary's future

The oldest portion of Spring Valley Elementary School, pictured here, was built in 1929. Later additions have resulted in parts of the school being on different levels. The district is seeking community input on what to do with the building. File photo

Plans are in place for consultants to assess the Spring Valley Elementary building to see what needs to be done to improve it. The options could include some amount of restoration, simply building a new building, or doing nothing at all.

Spring Valley School District Superintendent Dr. Don Haack said what is to be done is yet to be determined.

The original portion of the elementary building was built in 1929. Additions came in 1950, again in 1968, and finally in 1973.

Due to the multiple additions, parts of the school are on different levels, requiring ramps and lifts for ADA compliance.

Haack said the district's first goal is to assess options for the elementary, which means soliciting advice from consultants and architects.

He said options might be total renovation, a new building, some renovation and/or an addition, or nothing.

Then the district would weigh the costs and benefits. The next step would be to survey the citizens of the district and ask what they want.

"Because it is their elementary school," Haack said.

This will not be a quick process, he added. He estimated it might take take one to one and a half years.

If Spring Valley School District residents seem to be in favor of renovations, a new building, or other potentially costly changes, a referendum would need to be passed, Haack said.

Current referendum

The school district is partway into a referendum that passed April 5, 2016 which gives the district $800,000 each year for repairs to the middle/high and elementary schools. Much of that has gone to needed repairs at the middle/high school, Haack said.

Some of those upgrades include new roofing on the middle/high school, new concrete to even out parts of the sidewalk, new LED lights in the parking lot, and four new boilers. The parking lot is set to be repaved next summer, Haack said. It's about 20 years old, and has reached the end of its "lifespan,"

Haack said flooring within the building and lighting is also set to be improved. The goal is to switch to LED lighting as much as possible to garner savings through energy efficiency while achieving brighter and more stable lighting.

Gretta Stark

Gretta Stark has been a reporter for the River Falls Journal since July of 2013. She previously worked as a reporter for the New Richmond News from June 2012 to July 2013. She holds a BA in Print and Electronic Media from Wartburg College.

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