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SV elementary building surveys to be sent out after revision

The blacktop is complete and new paint has been finished to give the side parking lot at the Middle-High School a face lift. Rachel Helgeson / RiverTown Multimedia

A survey inviting the community to give input on the update or demolition of the elementary school will be sent out after minor revisions are made according to the Spring Valley School Board's meeting discussion on Monday, Aug. 20.

The changes, which were requested by Board President Peter Coyne, include clarifying the semantics regarding the options for building the new school at different locations and which estimated costs coincide with the options. Coyne also verified with District Administrator Dr. Donald Haack that the estimated costs and figures presented throughout the draft survey were correct.

All numbers were submitted by SDS Architects and Market & Johnson Construction, and according to the draft survey the estimated cost of building a new elementary school is $21.1-22.9 million, which depends on the location. To remodel the elementary school, originally built in 1929 and in need of updates to security features, the cost would be $23.8 million.

Demolition of the building would total $800,000 and the land on which the elementary school now sits in downtown Spring Valley is priced at approximately $40,000, Haack said.

The original school provides about 77,000 square feet, Haack said, and a new building is planned to supply about 10,000 more square feet.

In the survey, the community will have the opportunity to voice their opinion on:

• Whether or not to stay in the old building and remodel it or build a new one.

• At which location they would like the school.

• Relocating football and baseball fields.

• Maintaining the old gym or expanding the gym at the new building.

• Funding support options as listed (referendum amounts are determined by which projects the community supports):

• For a referendum amount of $21 million, tax increase per $100,000 of property value equals $135 per year

• For $23 million referendum, $165 per year tax increase

• For $24 million referendum, $179 per year tax increase

• For $26 million referendum, $210 per year tax increase

The exact date of the survey distribution is still unknown, Haack said, but the surveys must be completed by Oct. 15. Survey participants may also fill out the questions online when it becomes available.

Motion to approve a community-wide meeting at the Middle-High School Board Room on Oct. 1 at 7 p.m. was carried. Haack said anyone is welcome to attend and give input.

Other business

• The side parking lot at the Middle-High school received a facelift and fresh pavement that is complete and in use.

• Over the summer, the Middle-High school added LED lighting to replace some old bulbs in the lobby and all of the old bulbs in the gym as well as resurfaced the floors in the locker rooms.

• The board welcomed Catelynn Clark, a UW-River Falls student, as a Spanish intern who will be completing her student teaching at the Middle-High school.

• MS/HS Principal Gretchen Cipriano said the Middle-High school will have "more kids than [they've] had in quite some time" enrolling this year.

• Elementary Principal Daniel McGuire said 71 children participated in the recently-concluded Jump Start, a program which allows 4K students to get acquainted with the school before the year starts.

• Lunch and breakfast prices were approved to stay the same this year and chocolate milk will be available.

• Motion was passed to grant short-term and long-term substitute teachers as well as substitute custodians and cooks higher hourly wages.

• A grant for about $63,000 going toward school safety was awarded by the Department of Justice.

• Spending within the budget will look different this year, Haack said, as there won't be as much money going out to a high volume of technology and purchases of busses like last year.

• The purchase of a 2017 or 2018 minivan for staff and student transportation was approved by the board to replace a 1998 van.

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