SHEBOYGAN — In this week's Sheboygan Area School District Board of Education Meeting, the board reviewed potential renovation plans for the Farnsworth and Urban middle school facilities.

Bray Architects completed a facility study on the two buildings and presented three different options to improve the schools.

Facility study findings

The study found significant needs due the age of the buildings, both of which were built in the 1930s. Those needs include:

  • Replacing or repairing of the roof at both facilities
  • Replacing the windows at both facilities
  • Repairing the external masonry and brick work at both facilities
  • Repairing the parking lots, walkways and other hard surfaces at both facilities
  • Replacing or repairing the plumbing at both facilities
  • Improving the HVAC at both facilities and bringing them up to date with new technologies
  • Providing air conditioning at both facilities
  • Improving the existing electrical at both facilities
  • Bringing both facilities up to code with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990

Presented solutions

Bray Architects provided the following possibilities to bring the schools back up to code. The plans are purely conceptual at this point and are meant to provide a starting point for discussion.

  1. Renovate and improve the existing facilities at both Farnsworth and Urban middle schools
  2. Demolishing the oldest sections of the buildings and focusing on the more recent additions, renovating those and/or building new sections
  3. At Urban, building a new school on additional land, and at Farnsworth, adding on and remodeling Longfellow Elementary to become one larger middle school

Each of the options above are clearly very different and will require different budgets. At Tuesday's meeting, the board voted to approve the development of a Citizens Facility Advisory Committee as the first step in this long process. This committee will be made up of residents of the Sheboygan Area School District that the options will impact most. 

Next Steps

The advisory committee will be formed immediately to begin reviewing the presented solutions by Bray Architects.

From there, the advisory committee will make its recommendations to the board of education, hopefully by the 2021-2022 school year. At that point, the board will flesh out those recommendations to develop in-depth, thorough options to present to the community in 2023.

That would place the referendum on the proposed building renovations on the November 2024 ballot.

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