Herald and Journal, July 27, 1998

New school task force to make recommendations soon


"It should be one or two months for final recommendations from the Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted (HLWW) long range facilities task force," School Superintendent Riley Hoheisel told the school board last Monday.

The task force has almost completed the investigative work to provide the school board with recommendations for future building plans, renovations, and necessary land purchases.

"It (the final report) should be finished by the end of the year," said Hoheisel.

Board Chair Jim Raymond said there is approximately 18 months for all the preliminaries after that: locating land, developing building plans, and bringing the proposals before the public in the form of a referendum.

Although everything needs to be discussed and refined, the task force has developed several steps for discussion and recommendation.

The first step is to acquire enough land in one place, sufficient to develop a one-campus facility to meet those future educational needs, he said.

In step two, the task force will explore the idea of a new high school for 450 students. Preschool through eighth grade would remain in Howard Lake, and Waverly would house preschool through third grade.

The Winsted building would have several options available. It could be sold, or possibly converted to special education use.

HLWW Superintendent Riley Hoheisel said, "It seems like there are significant needs that would provide a market for this space to be used for special education."

Speaking of the possibility that the Winsted facility might find a different use, board member Randy Heuer said, "If one of the goals (is to close one facility or the other) at some point in time, we will have to take our lumps and say that this is the way it is."

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