By Raymond Neupert/South Metro Observer
WESTON, Wis. – Officials at the D.C. Everest Junior High school say that the building needs a complete overhaul to make it future-ready for students.
The district hopes to spend part of a proposed $59.8 million dollar referendum on a number of projects in the aging building.
The Junior High is one of the oldest buildings in the district and principal Jason McFarlane says they’re hoping to replace some aging, and even original facilities.
“Our building was built in 1952. Our facility and grounds crews have done a fantastic job maintaining the building, but it’s time to make some changes,” McFarlane said.
One of the big fixes on the list is an addition of a restroom in the south side basement of the building. That’s where the school’s arts and languages classes are currently housed, and right now there are no restrooms available on that floor. McFarlane says that presents both an accessibility issue as well as a student safety issue for when teachers need to leave the room.
The district also wants to update and improve the science rooms in the building.
“They don’t have a lot of room to their lab work, their break outs, that sort of thing,” McFarlane said. “They’d like to do a lot of those hands on things that improve student learning.”
The building’s health room is also in a cramped room on the second floor, which is a problem when students have medical emergencies inside the building, according to McFarlane.
“We’d like to relocate that to the first floor,” he said. “Right now it’s very difficult to get medical personnel into that space.”
Many other changes are aesthetic in nature. Because of the age of the building, McFarlane says many things like ceiling tiles and other fixtures are no longer made or replaceable.
“We have to try to retrofit many things, and we’d like to have a better way to solve those issues,” he said.
Other changes on the list include a renovation of the building’s library and IMC, new computer labs, and a renovation of the building’s theatre into a large study and meeting area.
In addition to the proposed funding from the referendum, the district will also be spending part of a $25 million dollar bond package to completely overhaul the HVAC and heating in the building. McFarlane says right now it’s just not adequate for students anymore.
“In the summer we’ve got windows open, we’ve got fans, people have individual air conditioners in the windows,” McFarlane said. “There are times in the year, in the summer and the fall, when the day starts we’re over 80 degrees in the building.”‘
Learn more about the school referendum and the district’s needs online at https://www.dce.k12.wi.us/