The latest Chippewa Falls Area School District board meeting yielded an update on a large construction project and an event that may potentially reshape how and what students in Chippewa Falls learn going forward.
The building projects at the new Stillson Elementary School in Lafayette and the updates to Chippewa Falls Middle School and Chippewa Falls Senior High School are moving along on schedule after an update Tuesday night during the monthly Chippewa Falls School District board meeting.
The brick is done on the new Stillson elementary school, the roof is complete, painting is going on in the gym, interior spaces are starting to take shape and classroom areas are being sheet rocked and interior finishes are starting to come together.
Overhead work such as plumbing and electrical are being worked on and starting to take shape as well. The exterior of the building has a metal exterior being added to it in February to help the structure take shape before permanent exterior is added later in the year.
Chippewa Falls Middle School has had a lot of furniture moved in and another area has been vacated in the school for demolition and construction to move forward in phase five of the construction process. Framing and structural steel are being put up and a few other small sections are being worked on consistently.
Chi-Hi had a big transition during the holiday break where the district took over the construction process from Miron Construction. Most of the update is complete on the building with just some finishing and heating/cooling being completed in the greenhouse and classrooms. A few other mechanical rough ends are being worked on throughout winter/spring as well.
Business manager Chad Trowbridge said all of the projects are on pace from the construction standpoint and an event Thursday night individuals will have the opportunity to take a look at the process themselves at the middle and high school areas.
“We’ve reviewed all three of the areas and all of them are where they should be at this point in time,” Trowbridge said. “It’ll be a busy summer for all of the locations and it is exciting that we’re only six months away from Stillson being opened. It’s going to be a busy year for all of the projects.”
In early 2018, voters approved a $65 million referendum, with 53% of voters giving their OK to build a new home for Stillson Elementary School and make additions and improvements to the middle and high schools.
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The Stillson building project includes a new 36-acre site in the town of Lafayette, a drastic increase from the current six-acre site. The 30-acre increase will offer more space for parking, a playground and athletic fields.
The middle school will use the funding to remodel areas of the building, improve technology and various improvements and repairs to the property. The high school will get a new science lab, improved technology and other various improvements to the building.
The next update on the referendum building project will come at the next monthly school board meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 11.
The 2020 Community Conversation is set for Saturday, Feb. 1 at Chippewa Falls Senior High School. The event is a followup to a similar 2014 event where more than 140 community members, parents, business leaders and school district staff gathered at Chi-Hi to give input on the vision for the future of the school district. After six years, the district is looking to update its strategic plan and looking for similar input at the event on Feb. 1.
As of the meeting Tuesday night, the event already has an online RSVP attendance of more than 100, closing in on the actual 2014 attendance of 125.
The event is expected to have almost double the actual attendance of what the online numbers indicate, and Chippewa Falls School District Superintendent Heidi Eliopoulos said all of the activities during the event will highlight the terrific work the students and staff of the school district are doing.
Chippewa Falls Area School District board president David Czech said the event should be a success and he is excited to hear what the community thinks the school district should improve upon.
“There’s a lot of planning going into this and a lot of work being put in by everyone involved,” Czech said. “It’s exciting that we have 100 to 200 people involved. I don’t think they would if they didn’t believe in the 2014 event and feel it was worthwhile. It is very impressive and it will give us a complete template of what our voters want us to do.”
The next Chippewa Falls Area School District board meeting is set for Tuesday, Feb. 11.