District Business Manager “Wants Nothing to Do With” Student- Built LSC
Left, the district plans to construct a 3,000 square foot Life Skills Center next door to SPASH. (stock photo)
by Donnelly Clare
School district officials are still working out details over a brand new Life Skills Center.
The Stevens Point Public School Board agreed the $400,000 construction project would be designed by The Samuels Group, a Wausau- based firm, but school district leaders are in a standoff when it comes to the amount of involvement district students would have int he actual construction.
“We’re got students in the Tech Ed who already work with CAP Services to build homes and garages,” said Board President Dwight Stevens.
“They’ve got that ability, and there’s no reason they can’t do a majority of the construction under the right supervision,” he added.
But others in the district disagreed, saying student involvement would be minimal.
“If students are involved, I don’t want anything to do with it,” said district business manager Tom Owens.
Owens said student involvement could mean a higher liability for the district, and it’s a risk he’d rather not take.
“I wouldn’t touch it,” he added.
District Superintendent Attila Weninger agreed he wanted students involvement to be minimal, and only under strict supervision.
“Student involvement would come down to three things; the student’s ability, the student’s availability and liability,” said Weninger.
“This is a building that’s going on SPASH property, and we want a quality building that’s aesthetically pleasing,” he added.
In a phone interview, Board President Stevens said he disagreed with statements made by Owens and Weninger, adding, “these are skills we’re already teaching our students.”
“In the face of the skills gap we’ve seen recently, this is an excellent opportunity for our students to perform skills they’ve learned, and are learning, and create something they can really be proud of.”
Stevens added he has already asked Weninger, the school board’s sole employee, to fully explain his thinking on the project to the public at the next school board meeting in January.
The district currently serves 10 students at the Life Skills Center, which provides homemaking and home economic skills education for learning disabled students.
The district would send out Requests for Proposals for construction work in early 2013.