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HHS remodel will be done by fall 2018: one year earlier than planned

There was some surprising news at Monday’s school board meeting.

Superintendent Nick Ouellette told the board that the $88 million addition and renovation at Hudson High School is projected to be completed by fall 2018, a whole year earlier than planned. The earlier completion date is made possible in part by the school board's adjustment to the district calendar that extends summer vacation in 2018. “And it’s a good a thing for the kids,” said Ouellette.

This year’s sophomore class would be the first to graduate out of the newly renovated school.

Already on an aggressive track that will have a new stadium and athletic complex completed by fall 2017, Ouellette said that construction managers Bray Architects and contractor Kraus Anderson both agree the project can be completed by the start of school 2018. Groundbreaking for the entire project is scheduled for sometime in April.

Bray representatives walked the board through their schematic plans for the project. They stressed that they consulted with the school administration and staff on the specifics for each discipline from the choir and band areas to the STEM and technical education classes and the freshmen and health care academies.

The project will include a large new addition to the school including classrooms, entrance, library, cafeteria, common areas and expanded gym. There will be major renovations to almost every other area of the school with only a few spaces getting more minor upgrades. When completed Bray says the school will look like a brand new building from end to end. When completed, it will have approximately 119,000 square feet.

The plan calls for almost all of the existing roof to be replaced as well as all exterior doors and a significant number of windows throughout the building. There will be all new LED lighting along with replacement and upgrades to the heating, ventilation and air conditioning infrastructure throughout the school. Most existing classrooms will get new cabinetry, ceilings, flooring and doors along with data delivery improvements. Sprinklers and fire protection will be upgraded throughout the building.

Details of the preliminary budget appear with this story. Bids on the first phase that includes the stadium, tennis and other athletic areas as well as lighting and parking areas will go out within the next few weeks. The preliminary budget has Bray’s best estimate of cost. They told the board that cost is currently about 2 percent over the original target but that is not unusual at this stage of the process. Based on their experience on prior similar projects, it is likely that that 2 percent will disappear as savings on some of the costs come in with the bids.

The board voted unanimously to move ahead on the project as outlined and for the drafting of specific construction drawings to begin.

The board also approved $1,836,593 in bids for the addition and renovation at Hudson Middle School. Based on the bids presented by contractor Kraus Anderson, the potential cost savings on the project could be around $800,000.

Information on both the high school and middle school projects can be found at the district website under the construction tab at

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