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'We just keep moving along': Planning stage progresses for new Spring Valley elementary

Plans are progressing steadily for the new Spring Valley Elementary School building, as the Spring Valley School Board heard during its Monday, June 3 meeting.

"We just keep moving along," said District Superintendent Dr. Don Haack in a later interview, "and keeping the board up to date, and making sure everyone's on the same page."

The board approved a contract with SDS Architects for the design of the new school. Haack said the district and its consultants, SDS Architects and Market & Johnson are in a phase called "schematic design." That means project leaders are reviewing needs for things like: classroom sizes, number of conference rooms or office spaces the school may need, etc.

The goal, he said, is to determine numbers, sizes and shapes of classrooms and other spaces in the new building.

The schematic design phase is set to be complete at the end of June, and the next phase, design development, will begin.

Haack said that is where SDS and district leaders will review floor plans and space needs, and take a more detailed look at plans, from finishing details like furnishings to things like the HVAC system.

Haack said if all goes to plan, SDS and Market and Johnson will begin developing construction documents in October and November, and the project will go to bid in January.

Haack said the district is also moving forward with plans to relocate the current softball field.

"We've got to get moving on that," said Haack. "And there's quite a bit going on."

The district is working with the Department of Natural Resources to ensure that all DNR requirements are met, and to ensure that the new softball field location would not disturb natural resources such as wetlands.

Haack said the district has had geotechnical experts at the middle/high school site, checking to see if there are any open areas underground, to make sure that the district will be building on solid footing, and that Crystal Cave will not be disturbed.

"Things are moving along about like we expect them to," Haack said. "We still plan to be able to break ground next spring so things are moving at a good pace."

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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