Herald and Journal, November 23, 1998

New school task force's report delayed


The Long Range Facilities Task Force, that was organized to investigate the needs for facilities in the HLWW school district,will delay its report until 1999 in order to study the large amount of information it has.

Site analysis work has already shown that wetlands will be the biggest challenge to the location of a new school, said task force representative Jim Fowler.

In addition, said Hoheisel, someone has offered $25,000 toward the purchase of wetlands adjacent to where ever the new school might be located.

This land would be available for students to use for environmental studies.

A Lester Prairie School District representative asked about the status of the task force. The district has requested another meeting with HLWW board members.

"We are going down with an open mind, just to see what they have to say," said Board Chair Jim Raymond.

Task force report

The following is the report that James Fowler, a member of the Long Range Facilities Task Force, submitted to the Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted School Board last Monday.

Since the special board meeting to clarify his contract, architect Bob Abendroth has completed extensive work for the facilities task force.

On Nov. 12, he presented a report of his findings to the task force. The report consisted of the following four areas: facilities analysis, project breakdown, tax impact, and site analysis.

Facilities analysis: Engineers reviewed the buildings at Howard Lake and Waverly to determine what systems (electrical, plumbing, heating, roofs, and structural) may need repair or replacement.

Abendroth emphasized several times that the facilities have been extensively improved since 1991 and they did not find many problems. Abendroth's next step in fine-tuning this report is to meet with school maintenance staff to get their input and reaction to the engineers' findings.

The buildings and grounds committee will use this report as a working document to plan future maintenance.

Project breakdown: The architect reported on work completed with administrators to start a "massing" study to determine the necessary size of a 450-student high school and what options to consider.

The preliminary projection was for a 117,000-square-foot facility. Alternate options for swimming pool, running track, auditorium, etc. were also provided.

Tax impact: Financial counsel provided several projections for the tax impact of various cost schools.

Site analysis: First of all, Abendroth provided the task force with information relative to the cost and feasibility of city sewer and water, versus forced sewer mains, on-site septic systems, and wells with capacity for fire control.

He strongly recommended city services, if at all possible. Contact was made with the engineering firms for both cities. They both have the water and sewer capacity to handle the proposed school.

Abendroth has done extensive work on preliminary site analysis in the County Road 6 corridor between Howard Lake and Winsted looking for suitable sites of 90 acres in size.

He has developed a computer study that overlays plat book maps, U.S. Geological Survey maps, national wetlands inventory maps, aerial photographs, and county soils books.

It became immediately apparent that the major limiting factor will be the wetlands designation. The remaining sites will be further reviewed for soil type, access, and location relative to sewer and water.

The task force now recommends that the report to the school board be delayed until early 1999.

With the volume of information received, the task force must study and refine it before good recommendations can be made.

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