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Hard hat season begins in Kettle Moraine schools

With the bulk of construction work taking place this summer, Kettle Moraine schools are beginning to see the fruits of referendum labors as three years of work takes shape across the district.

The Kettle Moraine School District received 209 "outstanding competitive bids" for work on the referendum construction project after initial bids went out in November and December, putting the project within one percent of the $49.6 million budget, Matt Premo with Findorf, explained at the March 3 school board meeting. Additionally, 35 percent of the bidders were contractors within 25 miles of the district.

Throughout the entire process, safety and education remain a main focus, Premo said, who helps Findorf provide regular communication with staff during construction.

Work starts

Much of the work during the next few months will take place at night, Premo explained, with some work at the middle and high schools happening during the day.

At Cushing and Magee installing hangers for future chilled water piping started this week, with ceiling tiles coming down for electrical, plumbing and controls contractors pulling cable starting March 9.

At Dousman and Wales anchors placed in the ceilings of the main corridor, along with wiring, plumbing and piping, has begun with much of the "behind the scenes, above the ceiling" work, being done at night for the next couple of months before school is out. Additionally, work began this week at Dousman on the construction of a new IT closet on the first floor.

Heavy construction work for some of the new interior remodeling will ramp up over spring break, Premo explained, with rerouting traffic patterns to prepare for construction of new additions for controlled access entry will take place.

"Once everyone comes back from spring break, it's basically what it is going to look like for the next two and a half months until school is out," said Premo.

Temporary offices

Guidance staff at Kettle Moraine Middle School will be moving to temporary offices located in the teacher's lounge. Construction of the temporary secure entrance will being on March 9 at the middle school.

The main renovation work for this summer at the middle school takes place in the commons/cafeteria area, along with the controlled access entry way.

Work at Kettle Moraine High School starts in the area of KM Global with minor demolition and salvaging of material located in rooms not occupied. Demolition of walls and ceilings starts on March 9 as well with temporary construction walls set up.

Once school is out in June, heavy construction work will begin across the district, with "a lot of work to be done very rapidly," Deklotz explained.

Magee and Cushing

All of Magee Elementary School will be vacated, with a similar situation taking place at Cushing. Administrative teams will be moved over the summer as well as Summer Academy, which will be housed at the high school this year.

"We have to relocate tiny furniture into high school classrooms, and move high school furniture out," said Deklotz.

Much of the project work, including air conditioning at Magee and Cushing, controlled access entry ways, and the new art wing at the high school will be complete by August of 2015. Some work, including revamping house areas at the middle school and other areas at the high school will be completed by August of 2016.

Premo stressed appreciation for the flexibility of staff at all schools in accommodating construction requests to allow the project to move smoothly.

Superintendent Pat Deklotz commented on the collaboration of administrators and staff at all buildings.

"Without reservation, our administrators have supported that accommodation," said Deklotz.

"It has been a great team effort all the way through," added Matt Breunig with Findorf.

Construction updates can be found on the district website under the construction link.

Carol Spaeth-Bauer
Lake Country Now

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