Washington, Plover-Whiting and Ben Franklin schools slated to see renovations
By Taylor J. Hale
STEVENS POINT — Stevens Point Area Public School District officials unanimously passed three motions approving bid packages for three local schools as part of the 2018 referendum plan. Washington Elementary, Plover-Whiting Elementary and Ben Franklin Junior High will see updates and renovations as soon as early June.
“The building itself won’t start until schools out, there might be some prep work, but the day school’s out, they are busting walls and breaking ground,” said Superintendent Craig Gerlach.
The three packages for the schools focus on updating and improving HVAC systems, roofing, plumbing, electrical and more. Nexus Solutions, the facility planning organization, has worked closely with the district to prepare for the upcoming projects.
“Nexus has been in and through our buildings, probably daily, for the last several months in preparation,” Gerlach said. Funds for each schools’ specific project listings are Washington Elementary: $2,278,328, Plover-Whiting Elementary: $4,966,393, Ben Franklin Junior High: $338,603.
Multiple contracting teams will be working on different aspects of each schools’ planned projects, each expected to be completed by the end of summer. Gerlach noted that there should be “little to no disruption” to students throughout the full set of referendum projects, estimated to be entirely completed in three years.
“Could it go into year four or five? Possibly,” Gerlach explained. “But we are hoping things go smoothly.”
As shown in the bid results, the plumbing bid at Plover-Whiting Elementary is still in the works. There are currently two bids the district is considering, but officials may call for a rebid. District leaders are expected to finalize a plumbing bid for the school at the Board Meeting on May 13. Gerlach noted that weather conditions could affect set completion dates for upcoming projects as time goes on — but he looks forward to the updates coming to the district.
“This is big,” he said about the referendum plan. “In terms of the number of dollars we are spending, this is significant.”
Contact Taylor J. Hale at [email protected] with Portage County news and information.