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New Berlin School District seeks feedback on school repairs

Community engagement session to be held at New Berlin West Middle/High School

March 18, 2013

New Berlin - Feedback is already being collected online on a huge list of potential projects New Berlin schools are contemplating with the goal of bringing the school buildings back to their original state of repair.

In addition to online feedback, the schools will hold a community engagement session to consist of a presentation and discussion of the needs at Eisenhower Middle/High School, which would get the bulk of the repairs anyway. The session will be at 5:30 p.m. March 25 in the New Berlin West Middle/High School library, 18695 W. Cleveland Ave., before the regular New Berlin School Board meeting.

Open dialog

Roger Dickson, chief finance and operations officer, will discuss challenges to the Eisenhower building's capacity, infrastructure, safety and code compliance and other issues. Following the presentation, questions and feedback will be welcomed.

"The idea is to have that open dialog," Dickson said, not only in the meeting on the proposed Eisenhower projects but at an April meeting on projects at the other schools.

The list of 246 proposed projects at all the schools contains some overlaps, such as whether to replace or adjust the heating and air conditioning system at Eisenhower. The project list contains no cost estimates because school officials want the projects to be considered on their merits. Then as many of the most crucial projects as possible will be fitted into the district's budget.

Officials want feedback on any projects that have been overlooked and on projects that are on the list.

Project criteria

Eight criteria were used to put projects on the list. Those criteria were health and safety, bringing the buildings into code compliance, making buildings a better fit for the way education is delivered today, energy savings, needs to provide a comprehensive educational experience including co-curricular activities and athletics, affect on building capacity, security enhancement and replacement of outdated or worn out infrastructure components.

The project list is based on the findings of the two reports by consultant IFF and were supplemented with additional projects from teachers and administrators. Officials expect the review and comment phase will result in changes to the project list.

Another input session on projects at the rest of the schools will be held at 5:30 p.m. April 22 at New Berlin West School library.

Questions may be directed to Superintendent Joe Garza at Joe.Garza@nbexcellence.org or (262) 789-6200 or Melinda Mueller, director of communications, at Melinda.Mueller@nbexcellence.org or (262) 789-6225.

The entire project list can be seen at nbexcellence.org/facilitiesplan.cfm. It includes new tennis courts and a new weight room at Eisenhower, an additional chair lift for the West swimming pool, security cameras for Poplar Creek Elementary, new bleachers for the Ronald Reagan Elementary gym, a remodeling of the main office to improve security at Orchard Lane and Elmwood elementary schools, and a move of the district office from Eisenhower to a new location to free up space in the cramped school.

- Jane Ford-Stewart

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