Brown Deer officials nix architectural enhancements

Project 20 to 25 percent complete

Nov. 7, 2012

Brown Deer - The district's metamorphosis from a three- to two-school campus is under way, and officials provided updates at a School Board meeting last month.

Dan Davis of CG Schmidt, the firm hired by the district to oversee construction of the renovations, said between 20 and 25 percent of the work has been completed.

The district has earmarked $22 million toward construction work. At the end of September, Davis said $4.62 million had been spent on the perimeter of what will become a commons area and the new middle school that is being constructed adjacent to the existing high school.

Davis said some of the more finite details within the new addition are being constructed, including locker rooms, restrooms and a new classroom wing.

During Thanksgiving break, the high school facility will be powered down as contractors move all electrical circuits to a new system that will be able to accommodate the addition to the high school.

At the same meeting, the board narrowly voted, 4-3, against a proposal to add architectural enhancements on the ceiling of the commons area.

"Architecturally, I think it adds something to the space," board member Dennis Griffin said.

But board member Kevin Klimek, who voted against the proposal, maintained a different perspective. He pointed to uncertainty on other referendum projects, including the eventual demolition of Dean Elementary School.

"It looks nice, but is it something we really need?" Klimek said. "I understand we've already had savings elsewhere, but we could use this for other projects."

At the meeting, the board gave Plunkett Raysich, the architecture firm retained by the district, authority to issue construction documents on the transformation of the existing middle school facility to an elementary school.

Kim Hassell of Plunkett Raysich said few changes are expected to the exterior of the middle school facility. Windows are being added to one portion of the building. In the interior, refinements will include changes to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

"We're also trying to liven up the facility with more colors that will reflect the transition," Hassell said.

The board also approved a contract with Appleton Sign Company for three monument signs that will be placed along North 60th Street, between Dean and Bradley roads.

One sign will have the name of the elementary school, while the other will reflect the name of the combined middle-high school. A third general sign will include an electronic message board that will feature announcements about upcoming events.

Plans call for CG Schmidt and Plunkett Raysich representatives to come before the board each month with progress updates.

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