Clinton School District facilities assessment shows facility challenges in elementary, middle schools

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Ashley McCallum
Tuesday, December 5, 2017

CLINTON—The elementary and middle schools in Clinton are the buildings that most need facility upgrades, according to a study presented to the public Monday.

The study is among the first steps in the Clinton Community School District’s facilities master planning timeline. Its findings could eventually lead the district to a referendum, though that decision won’t be made until 2018.

Eppstein Uhen Architects of Madison and Milwaukee conducted the assessment over the summer, District Administrator Jim Brewer said.

Clinton Elementary needs about 14 acres of space, including school grounds, to accommodate its 400 students, said Bob Vajgrt, learning environment director for Eppstein Uhen. The elementary school currently has 7.7 acres, according to the assessment.

The middle and high schools have “plenty” of space, Vajgrt said.

The study found that the elementary and middle schools, which are both more than 60 years old, have structural issues that need to be addressed, project manager Tory Schulz said.

The assessment rated electrical, plumbing, roofing, mechanical and foundational conditions at the elementary and middle schools as poor or critical. Americans with Disability Act compliance was also rated as poor and critical. Playground equipment and sidewalks were rated in critical condition at the elementary school.

Enrollment in the school district is expected to remain consistent, Vajgrt said. While a spike in enrollment is not expected, district buildings need updates to keep up with changing educational needs, he said.

Clinton High School needs upgrades to core areas to support current programming. These areas include technical education, the gymnasium and the cafeteria, the assessment found.

Drainage issues at the high school football stadium and classroom furniture throughout the district are other concerns the assessment highlighted.

Janesville contractor J.P. Cullen will estimate costs and determine potential tax impact based on findings from the assessment, Brewer said.

Another company will develop questions for a community survey to be delivered in spring, said Kit Dailey, community engagement specialist for Eppstein Uhen. Questions will be based on community workshops conducted in March.

A finalized project plan will be developed based on results from the survey, Dailey said.

If the community and school board deem it necessary, a referendum will be on the ballot for the Nov. 6 election.

Final decisions for facility upgrades will not be made until the district has heard concerns and desires from members of the community, Brewer said.

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