New building would cost less than fixing aging heating/cooling system in the old
By Caroline Newsom
The middle school building’s future was addressed, amidst discussion of school finances, at the close of the Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted school board meeting last Monday.
Board Member Dan Schaible expressed a desire for the community and school board to be prepared for large expenses due to the aging heating and air-conditioning systems in the middle school.
The question for everyone is whether it is better to invest an estimated $7 million into these updates, or whether it is better to build a new middle school, which would actually cost less. The district would need to request a building bond if a new middle school were in the plan for the future.
Board Member Al Doering believes that it is inevitable that the boiler will go out due to age. He asked if it was wise for the school board and community to “wait till it happens” before requesting funds for repairs, or if the real goal should be a new building.
The board also discussed whether or not the district should hold another levy, and if so, when it should take place. An awareness of the public’s weariness of a levy during the country’s current economic state was voiced.
The Howard Lake-Waverly, Winsted schools currently have a total of four buildings: an elementary school in Waverly, an elementary school in Winsted, a middle school in Howard Lake, and a high school located between Howard Lake and Winsted.
The board acknowledged the fact that another failed levy could mean the loss of one of these schools, and the loss of quite a few staff. Doering felt it was important to communicate this fact to the community as this would mean a lot of changes for everyone.
These issues and more will be discussed at greater length at the upcoming school board meeting Monday, Aug. 18, 7 p.m. in the board room at the middle school in Howard Lake (several doors down from the district office).