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Ian Carnes works on removing the gym floor Tuesday at Beloit Turner High School.

BELOIT

Crews have ripped out the bleachers at the Beloit Turner High School gym and are removing the floor as part of the district’s $26 million facilities referendum, which voters approved in November.

Much of the referendum—about $22 million—will go to building a new elementary school. About $4 million of the referendum will be used for gym and security upgrades and to renovate STEAM classrooms at the middle school and high school.

Brad Boll, the district’s director of business services, said crews have removed about 80% of the gym floor. Boll said the gym is expected to be completely bare by the end of the week. Construction is expected to be completed in August.

Bidding and construction on the new elementary school are expected in spring. The building is anticipated to be operational for the 2021-22 school year. It will be built on district-owned land off South Bartells Drive and Whippoorwill Way, about a quarter-mile northwest of the middle and high school.

Crews in July will begin work to reinforce entrances and enhance security at Powers Elementary and the middle school and high school, Boll said.

Upgrades to STEAM—science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics—classrooms are slated to start in fall. Upgrades will include a 2,000-square-foot expansion of STEAM classrooms and renovation of 5,000 square feet, which will more than double the school’s programming space.

Those upgrades are anticipated to be finished in fall 2020.

In May, Gov. Tony Evers awarded the district a $25,000 grant from the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. to expand the high school’s fabrication laboratory, which is part of the STEAM program.

“The fact that Beloit Turner was one of 20 recipients statewide speaks highly about the work that’s done so far in the fab lab,” Evers told an audience of about 225 at Beloit Turner High School in May.

Townview Elementary School will be vacated after the new elementary school is operational. Some people have expressed interested in buying it, Boll said.

“The first thing we will attempt to do is sell it. Whether we’re able to do that will kind of tell us the next step,” Boll said.

This summer, the district is repairing a portion of the roof at the high school and replacing a dish washer in the high school kitchen. Those projects are unrelated to the referendum, Boll said.

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Sections of the old gym floor are piled outside Beloit Turner High School.

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