Community Invited to Informal "Chats" as Board adds additional amenities to new high school

Posted on 09/07/2017
This is the image for the news article titled COMMUNITY INVITED TO "CHATS" AS BOARD ADDS ADDITIONAL AMENITIES TO NEW HIGH SCHOOLVASD School Board action on additional amenities beyond original scope of new high school building project

The Verona Area School District Board of Education is excited about our “Building for 2020” campaign and is holding two informal "chat" sessions for the community, VASD families and staff to take part and share questions on these new amenities:
•Sept. 7, Sow's Ear Coffee Shop, 7am-9am in large classroom
•Sept. 10, Fitchburg Library, 1pm-3pm in upstairs community room

After spending the summer reviewing the work of the Visionary Design Team, talking with potential building and program partners, and consulting with our architects and construction manager, the Board took action at a work session held on August 28 to add amenities beyond the original scope of work related to the building project.

Those additional amenities are:
•Additional square footage for district-wide production kitchen
•Additional square footage for large-group instruction/meeting space
•Additional square footage for post-secondary partnership space (e.g. Madison
College, UW Green Bay, UW Oshkosh or others)
•Additional square footage for sports training (UW Health)
•A second, indoor 8-lane pool (warm water) and associated locker/restroom area
•Upgraded artificial turf for the football stadium field to enhance player safety
•Artificial turf for the soccer stadium to enhance player safety

The cost of the amenities listed above is estimated to be $8.65 million. No additional taxes will be levied to fund these items. The Board has elected to fund them by using uncommitted Tax Increment Fund money (Epic TIF closeout), along with capital maintenance fund dollars and interest income earned from the sale of bonds for the building project.

Additionally, the District is very excited to announce that the Board has an accepted offer to purchase Stewart’s Woods. Stewart’s Woods is a 54-acre tract of land adjacent to, and south of, the new high school building site. This land will offer high school students in the new building an expanded outdoor learning area from what exists at the current high school. Stewart’s Woods can enhance hundreds of student projects with a balanced ecosystem of a wetland/ponds, a prairie area and a heavily wooded area for students to utilize.

Lastly, the Board may consider the addition of artificial turf to other fields not included in this upgrade. Decisions on those fields will be made when actual construction costs are known.

"The board is excited to bring these expanded opportunities to our students and community,” said Board President Noah Roberts. “The actions taken by the board reflect our continued commitment to ensuring that each student is successful. In collaboration with post-secondary education partners, our students will have the opportunity to obtain real-life skills, explore and discover interests and passions, and get a head start on life after high school whether through applicable educational experiences or classes that count toward a college degree.”

Roberts added that the addition of these amenities allow for us to better serve both students and district residents. “The Board and I see the new high school and these amenities as a generational opportunity for our students and community. Thanks to the district's continued fiscal responsibility, we are able to realize greater academic and extracurricular opportunities for our students, staff, and community.”

The District will be providing detailed information on each of these items in the near future.
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