Entrances 1st project with referendum money

Bids due April 18
By: 

Wittenberg-Birnamwood School Board members on April 3 approved construction plans for the first phase of projects approved by voters in November as part of a $13.1 million referendum.

The board is seeking bids for security enhancements, including new entrances, at each of the district’s three schools — Wittenberg Elementary/Middle School, Birnamwood Elementary/Middle School and Wittenberg-Birnamwood High School.

Construction will begin after school is out for the year and is expected to be completed by the start of the fall semester, Superintendent Garrett Rogowski said.

Bids are due April 18 and will be reviewed at the next board meeting, scheduled for 6 p.m. April 29 in the WBHS library.

Project architect Todd Dvorak showed the board members the plans for all three buildings. Plans for the high school must be approved by the Wisconsin Department of Commerce, but the other projects are small enough that they don’t require state approval.

“The general concept of all three projects involves the ability to have people enter in to the secured vestibule area,” Dvorak said. “Guests are then buzzed into the office to register for access in to the schools.”

Work at the two elementary/middle schools requires very little demolition. Doors will be moved to create a larger vestibule area, and new entrances will be added. Heating, ventilation and air conditioning units will be moved, and additional security lighting will be provided.

The Birnamwood school will reuse the doors installed just two years ago. The doors at Wittenberg Elementary/Middle School are much older and will replaced.

The schools’ glass windows and doors will be covered by security film. Matt MacGregor, senior project manager from Hoffman Planning Design & Construction, said film does not stop bullets but prevents the glass from shattering, which prevents a shooter from entering the building.

The high school work includes reconfiguring the offices and reception area. A new window will enable staff to see people coming into the vestibule.

Cabinets used to store student prescriptions at all three buildings will be fitted with keyed locks.

Other maintenance work expected at the high school later this year will address roof and exterior door issues.

Future phases of the referendum projects include a new 7,800-square-foot building — primarily for agriculture classrooms — next to the high school, a two-story addition to Wittenberg Elementary-Middle School and two new classrooms at Birnamwood Elementary-Middle School.

Three 900-square-foot classrooms will be added at Wittenberg Elementary-Middle School and two 1,200-square-foot classrooms at Birnamwood. Both buildings will be reconfigured to provide more classroom space for the music program.

Changes at the high school authorized by voters include the following:

• The family and consumer science room will be renovated with stainless steel appliances, table and prep area with restaurant-quality equipment.

• The technical education area will get a new dust-collection and heating, ventilation and air-conditioning system. Upgrades in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics and computer lab area will allow the area to be used by teachers throughout the school. The work includes more electrical outlets and upgrades to computers and servers.

• The wood shop will get new lathes, planers and table saws. The metal shop will replace drill presses and welding equipment. A finishing room equipped with a new exhaust system will be shared by the wood shop and the new art department.

• A small-engine work room will occupy the former ag space.

• Storage space will be created directly across the hall from the stage area to house the theatrical props and scenery.

The largest project at the high school will be installing a new heating, ventilation and air conditioning system. Engineers have not yet determined whether it can be finished in one summer.

The elementary/middle school additions and the ag building are expected to be completed in summer 2020. Work will continue throughout the year and during summer school.

FYI

For information about bid specifications for entrance improvements at Wittenberg-Birnamwood School District buildings, contact Matt MacGregor, senior project manager from Hoffman Planning Design & Construction, at mamcgregor@hoffman.net or 920-380-2104.