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Design work to begin on building projects

A new elementary school to be built in Cottage Grove won’t spring up overnight. As a matter of fact, work on the school and most other parts of the $57 million in projects approved by voters earlier this month won’t even happen next year.

Superintendent Dan Olson told members of the Monona Grove School Board on Nov. 14 the design work on most projects will begin immediately but will take the better part of a year.

“It’s kind of parallel projects, one design team working with a couple architects specifically on the new school, separate (from) all the building renovations,” he said. “It’s a separate team and separate architects on those.”

Visionary teams will be created for the new school and all the renovation projects, and teachers and staff will be part all teams.

Sketches for the elementary school that will house Cottage Grove students in grades 3-5 are expected to be ready sometime in February.

“After that design the next few months, then we’ll start talking about the exact location on the land where it would be, and that’s of course, where we have to work with the village,” Olson said.

Jerrud Rossing, director of business services, said soil borings still need to be completed on the land next to Glacial Drumlin School.

“That’s the one last piece the architects do need to have to be able to determine where it needs to be located at in addition to the types of foundation and footings that need to be placed,” he said.

Board President Peter Sobol cautioned administrators to think about the future and potential building expansions when planning the location of the school. He said there is more land than is needed for the building, so building in the middle of the land would not be a wise choice.

Olson agreed and noted the long-term concept of having athletic fields on the site.

Two projects will be completed sooner than the others, Olson said. MG21, the charter school inside Nichols School, will expand to include middle school students in 2019-20, and August and September flooding and rains led to standing water in an area of Winnequah School.

“MG21 expansion is on the fast track to do some work this summer, obviously for the opening of the school in the fall,” Olson said. “The other one that became a new project, of course, is Winnequah School, the issue that we are having with the music room and water.”

He said a few other projects with less design requirements could be done sooner, but officials will proceed with caution as they review how all the projects will tie together.

Sustainable initiatives in the schools will also be considered.

“No decisions have been made, but we will investigate sustainability solutions in every building,” Olson said.

Officials with Eppstein Uhen Architects are expected to meet with the board at the Dec. 19 meeting

Kevin Passon
The Herald-Independent

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