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Decorah, roofing projects top maintenance list

By Brianna Stubler

bstubler@conleynet.com 262-306-5046

WEST BEND — The West Bend School Board recently toured district facilities to determine maintenance priorities following the failed April referendum, and for some members, it was the first time in a particular building.

Board members were understandably more familiar with schools their children attended, but with years passed since they had a closer inspection, the buildings’ needs changed notably.

Board President Joel Ongert said he is most familiar with McLane and Silverbrook, and he had never been in the Rolfs Education Center.

“As a parent with kids in McLane and Silverbrook, I am in those buildings all the time; however, this tour gave me an opportunity to see all of the buildings, one right after another,” Ongert said. “The facilities tour was a great opportunity for the board to see what projects will be tackled over the summer and what projects the district needs to plan and prepare for in the future.”

Board member Chris Zwygart and Ongert both agreed prioritizing these repairs will be no small task. Another factor to be taken into consideration is when they will occur; whether they are summer fixes or necessitate more time, and if they will disrupt learning to the point where

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they should not be attempted during the school day. Since the money that would have been allocated by the referendum is not available, funding is the big question attached to each of these district projects.

One item at the top of the long list is Decorah Elementary School.

“A front office remodel project will start as soon as school gets out for a new secure office entrance at Decorah Elementary,” Ongert said.

Another focuses on structural integrity of multiple buildings.

“Although not glamorous work, several buildings around the district will have sections of roofs replaced this summer,” he said. “Of our $1.4M annual capital budget, nearly $800,000 of that is spent on replacing roofs each and every year.”

That only leaves $600,000 to the remaining elementary, middle and high schools, as well as specialized locations like Rolfs.

“We’re lucky to have such a great school district in West Bend,” Ongert said. “We need to ensure that we provide the best learning environment possible for our students’ safety and educational success.”

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