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Facilities task force talks options

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Facilities task force talks options
River Falls Wisconsin 2815 Prairie Drive / P.O. Box 25 54022

After several months of gathering information, touring facilities and looking into the future of the Hudson schools, the Hudson School District Facilities Planning Task Force has begun to talk about what to do to make room for growing student enrollment.

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The group's facilitator, Linda Schroeder, described the Oct. 26 meeting as a "brainstorming session" where no idea was dismissed. The members of the group responded, and before the first round of discussion was completed, the members had posted about 30 options for how to address space needs at all grade levels across the district. The options included everything from a kindergarten center to acquiring the former dog track to be converted into a high school.

Several members came up with similar options. They included:

  • Converting the current high school to a 10-12 building;

  • Building a new 8-9 facility and a new elementary school on the district's County FF property;

  • Converting the middle school to an 8-9 building, building a new grade 5-7 building and converting all elementary schools to K-4;

  • Building a new K-5/6-9 complex similar to Hudson Middle School and Hudson Prairie Elementary;

  • Converting the middle school to a 7-9 building, converting elementary schools to K-6 and building additions as needed.

    Keeping high school

    Three more options involved keeping the current high school at 9-12 and:

  • Adding onto the complex at the current site, converting the middle school to a 7-8 building and the elementary schools to K-6 with additions as needed;

  • Retaining the current configuration at all grade levels and adding "up" at all schools as needed;

  • Keeping the current configuration, adding "up" and building a new elementary school south of I-94 on County FF property.

    Building 10-12 school

    Several members favored the construction of a new 10-12 high school on the district's property on County UU and:

  • Converting the current high school into a 7-9 building, the Middle School into a 5-6 building and the conversion of all elementary schools to K-4

  • Converting the current high school to an 8-9 building with room for district administration, converting the middle school to a 6-7 building with an addition if needed, building a new elementary school on County FF and making additions to North Hudson and Houlton Elementary schools as needed.

    Building 9-12 school

    There were also options that called for a new 9-12 high school on the County UU property and:

  • Converting the current high school to 7-8, with the middle school housing grades 5-6 and elementary schools, K-4;

  • Converting the current high school to a 6-8 building, the middle school to a K-5 building with room for district administration, Community Education, special programs and a community center;

  • Converting the current high school to a second middle school and a K-5 school;

  • Converting the current high school to K-5 elementary with space for grade 6 with grades 7-8 at the current middle school;

  • Converting the current high school to house district administration, special programs, community education, a community center and construction of a new elementary school on County FF property.

    Options eliminated

    In discussion, the group came to a consensus regarding the elimination of several options including:

  • A kindergarten center. The concept is developmentally inappropriate, would mean too many building transitions for young children and long bus rides. The concept also is not consistent with the idea of neighborhood schooling.

  • The use of portable classrooms to reduce classroom crowding. The group cited the ongoing costs of this option including lease payments, setup costs, security and safety concerns, energy efficiency and continued stress on core areas of school facilities.

  • Split shifts for students. Among the problems with split shifts in a school schedule are transportation costs, adverse effects on social interaction and integration of students, safety and security concerns regarding who is at school when, limited access to teachers, and difficulty in scheduling and participating in extracurricular activities.

    Planners to give report

    Educational facility planners from ATS&R were at the meeting to hear the options and were asked to consider each of them for their workability in addressing the district's space needs through the year 2015. The task force agreed that migration into the district would likely continue.

    The task force will meet Nov. 8 to hear ATS&R's report.

    Public meeting

    The task force will also hold a public information meeting on Nov. 9 at the Hudson High School auditorium from 6-8 p.m. The hearing will include presentations about the district's facilities by ATS&R and about enrollment projections from Dr. Hazel Reinhardt. St. Croix County Planner David Fodroczi will discuss continued development in the district, and task force members will answer questions and talk to the public.

    For more information about these options or to talk to a task force member, contact Lois Zezza at (715) 386-4908 or zezzalm@hudson.k12.wi.us.

    Meg Heaton can be reached at mheaton@rivertowns.net.

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    Meg Heaton
    Meg Heaton has been a reporter with the Hudson Star Observer since 1990. She has a bachelor’s degree in anthropology and Native American Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire.
    (715) 808-8604
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