by LAURA HAYES
In less than a week, area voters will take to the polls to vote on Winona Area Public School’s (WAPS) multimillion dollar facility plan that would close Madison and Jefferson.
The $145 million plan would expand and renovate Goodview and Washington-Kosciusko, keep Rollingstone open with minimal repairs, and repair and add on to Winona Middle School (WMS), Winona Senior High School (WSHS), and Winona Area Learning Center (ALC). The project is estimated to cost $82.4 million — $145 million including interest for the 25-year bond.
WAPS has discussed what to do with its elementary schools for years (see sidebar timeline). Some of the more recent conversations began in 2012 when the School Board asked former WAPS Superintendent Scott Hannon to form a committee to examine the district’s facilities. Hannon formed the committee, which met three times, and presented three facility ideas to the board.
Fast forward to 2015. WAPS administrators and School Board members compiled a list of 14 potential facility plans. In July, board members narrowed the list to four — keep all schools open; close Madison; or keep Rollingstone open, remodel Goodview, and build a new school on the East End. The board hired Springsted to conduct a community survey to gauge community support for the three options. When residents were asked straight-out which of the three they preferred, there was no clear winner.
In February 2016, the School Board voted to pursue a facility plan that would keep Rollingstone and Goodview open and build a new school. At the time, board members Jay Kohner and Brian Zeller voted against it. In the summer, WAPS hired Wold Architects and Engineers to conduct a feasibility study of the district buildings. In the fall, Wold leds a Facilities Task Force — a group of 30 community members, staff, students, and School Board members — to examine district data and recommend a plan to the School Board. After months of debate, the task force recommended two plans to the School Board — a Goodview/Jefferson plan and a W-K/Goodview/Jefferson plan. With a split vote, the board opted to pursue the Goodview/Jefferson plan.
However, an 11th hour suggestion by former City Council member Paul Double to use Lake Park as the site for a new elementary school paused the district’s plans and led some School Board members to wonder whether there was land available for a new school. During a joint meeting in early March 2017, city officials presented a list of 13 properties including Gabrych and Sobieski parks, Lake Park, industrial land, the former Kmart site, and land along the river. During the meeting, the two government bodies discussed acquiring a block of homes next to W-K and closing part of the street. Later that month, some School Board members expressed interested in a facility plan comprised of Goodview and W-K, and Wold partner Paul Aplikowski suggested keeping Rollingstone open as-is.
The School Board voted on the Goodview/W-K/Rollingstone plan in May, and then voted again in June to bring the plan before voters next week.
What is included in the plan?
Six WAPS schools would receive repairs in some way — Rollingstone, Goodview, W-K, WMS, WSHS, and ALC.
At the elementary schools, repairs and upgrades total $10,700,302 and new additions are estimated to cost $39,230,585. Rollingstone would receive minimal repairs — only the roof would be replaced, according to plans. Goodview and W-K would be renovated and expanded to hold more students. According to draft drawings by Wold, either a one-story or two-story addition would be added to the side of Goodview. Two new playgrounds — one for early childhood education — would be installed and more parking would be added. A two-story addition would be built in the current courtyard and playground of W-K. WAPS plans to ask five property owners across Seventh Street if they would be interested in selling. WAPS Superintendent Richard Dahman said three property owners have expressed interest. Their land would be made into green space and visitor parking.
At WMS, WSHS, and ALC, repairs and upgrades total $19,549,748 and new additions would cost$12,353,900. Numerous repairs and upgrades would be made at WMS. At the ALC, the most significant project would be constructing a new gym. Currently the school does not have a gym and students are bused to Central and the East End Recreation Center for physical education. As part of the work at WSHS, a new auxiliary gym would be added, the girls’ locker rooms would be expanded to comply with Title IX requirements, “flexible learning space” would be created, additional bathrooms added, and the industrial technology area renovated. Additionally, $198,000 would be spent to remove and replace auditorium seating.
How can people vote?
The referendum will take place on November 7. Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.
There are other ways for people to vote, too. In-person absentee ballot voting is available at the district office on Gilmore Avenue through Friday, November 3, from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., and on November 6, from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Absentee ballots can also be done through the mail. WAPS Director of Finance Sarah Slaby recommends that voters who want to mail their ballot request it sooner rather than later to allow for the ballot to come through the mail. For more information or to request a ballot, call the WAPS office at 507-494-0861.
Because the WAPS referendum is the only item on the ballot, polling places have been combined (see sidebar). To find out ward and precinct information, voters may go to www.pollfinder.sos.state.mn.us. For voters whose polling place is WSHS, WAPS staff said parking will be reserved by the Ag Building. People will vote in the industrial technology wing, and voters may enter the building near the greenhouse. At Central, polls will be located in room 102. Parking will be reserved behind the building in the playground parking lot. Voters may enter Central through the door on the west side of the building. Voters going to WMS may enter through the main entrance on Homer Road. Polls will be located in the hallway near the entrance to the auditorium. Space will be reserved for voter parking near the Homer Road entrance. At Goodview, parking will be available in the school lot and polls will be located just inside the front door. Voters whose polling location is Rollingstone school may park in the school lot. Polls will be located in room 140.
Visit https://www.winonaschools.org/referendum2017 for more information.
Timeline of facility project
• School Board asks Superintendent Scott Hannon to form a committee to examine WAPS’ facilities.
• Hannon forms facility committee.
• The committee suggests three ideas: one, a kindergarten through second grade school, keeping Rollingstone and Goodview open, and moving third and fourth graders to the middle school; two, house kindergarten and pre-kindergarten at Goodview, move first through sixth graders to the middle school, and place the remaining students at Winona Senior High School; three, have two schools house elementary students and move fourth grade to the middle school.
• HESG provides the School Board with deferred maintenance options.
• WAPS generates a list of 14 facility options.
• School Board narrows list to three ideas: one, keep all the schools open; two, close Madison; three, keep Rollingstone open, remodel Goodview, and build a new East End school.
• The School Board receives the results of a community survey which indicated that 30.3 percent of people favored keeping all of the schools open, 30 percent favored closing Madison, and 34 percent favored keeping Rollingstone and Goodview open and building a new school.
• School Board votes 5-2 to keep Rollingstone and Goodview open and build a new school. Board members Jay Kohner and Brian Zeller vote against the plan.
• Following an impassioned meeting between School Board members and members of an ad hoc group called Friends of Winona Area Neighborhood Schools, Board Chair Mohamed Elhindi moved to rescind the board’s vote on the plan and delay the decision until a feasibility study was completed. His motion failed with a tie vote with board member Tina Lehnertz abstaining.
• WAPS hires Wold Architects and Engineers for $20,000 to conduct a feasibility study of the district’s buildings.
• Wold staff lead the first meeting of the Facilities Task Force — a group of 30 community members, students, staff, and School Board members. The group was charged with digging into data and recommending a facility plan to the School Board.
• According to Wold’s facility study, WAPS’ schools needed almost $10 million less in repairs and upgrades than originally anticipated. Of the total $62.8 million price tag, $7.6 million are repairs that should be completed in six to 10 years.
• Facilities Task Force compiles a list of 14 facility options. The list is later narrowed to four suggestions: one, remodel Goodview and build a new school; two, remodel Jefferson and Goodview; three, remodel Goodview, W-K, and Jefferson; and four, keep Goodview and Rollingstone open and build a new school.
• The Facilities Task Force recommends two plans to the School Board — a Goodview/Jefferson plan and a Goodview/W-K/Jefferson plan.
• School Board votes 4-3 to pursue the Goodview/Jefferson plan. Board member Jay Kohner, Board Chair Ben Baratto, and Vice Chair Tina Lehnertz voted against the plan.
• After City Council member Paul Double suggested using park land for a new school in December, WAPS leaders met with city officials to discuss available land for a new school. One of the ideas discussed was acquiring a block of land next to W-K.
• During a work session, several board members expressed interest in a new facility plan with Goodview on one side of the district and W-K on the other. Wold partner Paul Aplikowski suggested keeping Rollingstone open as-is.
• With Rollingstone on the chopping block for budget cuts, Rollingstone City Council members offer to help maintain the school including mowing and plowing.
• The Winona City Council votes 6-1 to designate Central, Jefferson, Madison, and W-K as local historic sites. Council member Michelle Alexander votes against the designation. The designation gives the city the power to veto any proposals to demolish the buildings or alter their exteriors.
• School Board votes 4-3 to pursue a facility plan that would keep Rollingstone open and expand Goodview and W-K. Board members Steve Schild, Allison Quam, and Jay Kohner voted against it. The School Board also rescinds the two previously-approved plans.
WAPS’ estimated expenditures
New roof: $678,600
Parking/other resurfacing: $352,580
Concrete walkway replacement: $11,700
Other concrete work: $5,720
New insulated windows: $182,910
Exterior doors: $23,400
Egress doors: $23,400
New built-up roof system: $1,130,000
Early childhood program carpet: $7,280
Media center carpet: $49,140
Administration office carpet: $27,300
K-4 classroom carpet: $100,100
Pre-k carpet: $57,300
Ceiling tiles: $169,000
Remove/replace 360 LF of casework in staff break room: $140,400
New blinds: $22,126
Auto door operators (2): $20,800
Accessibility grab bars: $1,040
Accessibility bathrooms: $78,000
Accessibility room signage: $6,500
Interior doors, accessibility: $78,000
Smoke detectors/fire alarm control panel/alarms: $34,737
Asbestos abatement: $78,000
Central high efficiency hot water heating, piping, new terminal units, control system (further investigation needed for placement, etc.): $850,000
De-stratification fans: $18,000
Plumbing fixtures: $175,000
Water-softening system: $34,000
Replace main switchboard: $80,968
Goodview subtotal: $3,024,607
Additions to create total capacity of 575 students, 27,575 square feet), add a gymnasium and kitchen (13,440 square feet), and house all district early childhood (19,460 square feet); renovation to create flexible learning space, update building finishes for cohesive look, establish furniture budget for renovated spaces: $22,113,359
Goodview total: $25,137,966
Replace damaged fencing: $5,720
Reconstruct bituminous hard play surfaces: $204,750
Concrete walkway: $1,664
Exterior steel stairways/guard rails: $46,800
Concrete curb: $3,413
New insulated windows: $772,200
Exterior doors: $11,700
Exterior double doors: $31,200
Ceiling tile: $32,858
Window blinds: $66,976
Toilet partitions: $20,800
Replace 16 LF countertops/undermount hand sink fixtures: $2,600
Exterior ramps: $133,380
Exterior railing: $2,184
Electric water cooler: $1,300
Accessibility grab bars: $10,400
Accessibility staff bathroom: $65,000
Accessibility signage: $11,700
Accessibility platform lift: $26,000
Accessibility interior doors: $23,400
Replace 23 LF of casework in staff break room: $2,925
Exterior concrete ramp: $19,500
Pre-k railings to code: $910
Fire alarm control panel/alarms/detectors: $70,805
Asbestos abatement: $325,000
Convert to hot water heating system/boiler, pumps: $800,000
New central air ventilation system, ducts, hot water reheat coils, digital controls: $1,863,000
Perimeter hot water fin tube radiation: $200,000
De-stratification fans: $18,000
Digital controls for pneumatic systems: $97,000
Air cooled chiller/air conditioning: $540,000
Replace domestic cold and hot water distribution piping to include hot water recirculation system, plumbing fixtures: $868,000
Water softening system: $34,000
Replace main switchboard: $108,723
Lighting replacement/LED: $544,650
W-K subtotal: $6,997,095
Additions to create total capacity of 575 students (18,425 square feet), add a gymnasium and kitchen (13,440 square feet) and new main office for security (2,730); renovation to create flexible learning space, update building finishes for cohesive look, and establish furniture budget for renovated spaces: $17,117,226
W-K total: 24,114,321
Parking resurface: $656,487
Reconstruct basketball court, asphalt walkway: $132,600
Replace carpet in main level fifth and sixth wings, main level fitness room, media center, SPED, upper level seventh and eighth grade wings, upper level FACS and SPED rooms: $713,031
Replace toilet partitions: $23,400
Replace 10 LF of casework in the FACS lab: $3,900
Fire control panel, fire alarms, detectors: $223,746
Add condensing boiler for heating: $150,000
Replace pool ventilation unit with new roof-mounted pool unit with de-humidification capability: $850,000
Exterior lighting: $54,623
Reconstruct parking surface: $585,000
Replace parking curbs: $106,925
Concrete walkways: $52,000
Fill, regrade, reconstruct low spot near ag building: $9,750
Fill, regrade, reconstruct low areas around practice fields: $97,500
Reconstruct the six tennis courts: $448,500
Replace tennis court fencing: $75,075
Irrigation at softball field and site practice fields: $78,000
Repair broken site fencing at athletic fields: $35,750
Replace windows with insulated glass: $458,250
Replace storefront/entry with thermal efficient/insulated glass, includes 22 doors: $353,990
Replace four exterior doors: $31,200
Repaint precast concrete roof deck: $45,500
Replace concrete maintenance strip around perimeter of one story shops building: $9,750
Replace vertical brick control joint backer rod and sealant: $51,480
Reset/repoint mortar and masonry joints of exterior: $114,400
Replace existing single ply ballast roof with new built-up roof system: $4,334,200
Replace carpet in upper level classrooms/corridors: $417,235
Replace music room carpet: 76,440
Replace wrestling room floor mat: $46,410
Replace ceiling tile in main level classrooms, excluding science and math wing: $30,875
Replace ceiling tile at main level corridor: $27,950
Acoustical lay-in ceiling systems in all upper level classrooms and corridors: $396,500
Replace 310 LF of casework in the main level classrooms: $120,900
Replace 170 LF of casework in the upper level classrooms: $66,300
Replace athletic lockers in boys’ locker room: $117,000
Replace athletic lockers in girls’ locker room: $117,000
Replace student lockers, including concrete base: $379,600
Auditorium upgrades: $198,250
Accessibility signage: $26,000
Accessibility interior doors: $308,100
Accessible shower stall in boys’ and girls’ locker rooms: $13,000
Accessibility staff bathrooms: $26,000
Accessibility public toilet facilities: $52,000
Replace railings for interior stairs/accessibility: $60,450
Replace existing electric water coolers/accessibility: $5,200
Accessibility platform lift: $26,000
Fire alarm control panel/fire alarms/detectors: $195,150
Fire alarms/controls in ag building: $5,000
Asbestos abatement: $650,000
Replace ventilation systems in industrial tech area: $750,000
Replace ventilation systems in pool with new packaged roof-mounted unit with de-humidification capabilities/digital controls: $750,000
Replace wrestling room ventilation system/digital controls: 480,000
Replace ventilation system of auditorium/digital controls: $450,000
Replace ventilation system in locker rooms/digital controls: $140,000
Replace remaining pneumatic controls with digital controls: $140,000
Replace existing 400-ton air cooled chiller and add additional capacity to serve cooling needs for entire building, including two new air cooled chillers: $600,000
Install a grease interceptor at the three-compartment sink in the kitchen: $30,000
Replace each of three wash fountains in the industrial tech area: $35,000
Replace switchboard: $200,000
WSHS subtotal: $15,014,271
Addition for auxiliary gymnasium with seating for 400 spectators and locker rooms for Title IX compliance; renovation to create flexible learning space, renovate industrial tech area to support STEAM/career pathways programming, and renovation to create additional toilets near student commons: $9,818,900
WSHS total: $24,833,171
Reseal parking lot: $6,565
Addition for full-size gymnasium to offer physical education programming opportunities on-site to ALC students (7,800 square feet): $2,535,000
ALC total: $2,541,565
Total projects cost: $81,834,534
Bond and financing costs: $540,466
Facility levy amount: $82,375,000
Project costs plus projected interest over 25 years: $145 million