Referendum update: work begins district-wide

An outside view of eight brand new classrooms that will be created with money from the referendum.

Photo courtesy of Mr. Jack Stoskopf

An outside view of eight brand new classrooms that will be created with money from the referendum.

Samantha Baltzell, Editor

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  With a 71 percent upvote in favor of the referendum, the administration can finally get to work on improving the D.C. Everest School District. Within the next three years, D.C. Everest will be renovated and upgraded.

   Mr. Jack Stoskopf, the assistant superintendent of business for the D.C. Everest School District, has been very involved in the project, especially since he handles the money aspect of the referendum. He works closely with other members of the district to understand the processes of the referendum and to double check the bills and finances of the project.

  “We are all working together as a team to get the referendum moving. As the projects get completed, we get billed for them. I have to make sure that the bills are paid properly,” said Mr. Stoskopf.

  D.C. Everest School District voters approved around $60 million to put towards renovating the schools. However, not all of of the money given to the district is being spent right away, Mr. Stoskopf said. While projects are being acted upon, the district is going to invest some of the money as well. The goal of this is to collect interest and continue working on more projects in the future.

  While all of the schools in the district are going to have their needs addressed, the D.C. Everest Senior High School is first on the list with the construction of eight new classrooms, a new storage room for the Fine Arts departments, and the renovations of the technical education, culinary, and business classrooms.

  “Before Christmas, the eight new classrooms should be framed up. They won’t be finished until July, but they’ll be framed and ready to go along with the storage area,” said Mr. Stoskopf. “The foods and business area is going to be completely redone, so there’s going to be a lot that’s taking place next spring. As soon as school is done, they’re going to attack the tech-ed area and the other sections that are going to be done.”

  Plans start at the Senior High, then shift to Rothschild Elementary, and afterwards begin work at the D.C. Everest Junior High School.

  In order to find workers, the district is opening their plans to bidders from around the state. Bid packets are released, which allows companies to look at the maps of the building, giving them an opportunity to decide if they want to bid on the work or not.

  “We do not have to pick the lowest price. Sometimes people will bid really low just to make sure their people can keep working. We are also working as hard as we can to make sure that we are picking local contractors,” said Mr. Stoskopf.

  Since the project may take three years, and there will be construction around the schools, Mr. Stoskopf asks both students and faculty to be patient. It is physically impossible to renovate everything in three months.

   “Some programs are going to be temporarily uprooted for awhile,” said Mr. Stoskopf. “We’re going to need some flexibility with how classes are operating.”
  Along with the $60 million from the referendum, the school was also granted FROM WHO around $25 million in order to help with energy efficiency such as heating and cooling systems. While the amounts are not combined, that gives the district around $85 million.

  “We’re very excited to increase the quality of the learning spaces for kids. Especially since we have this opportunity to take the environment that kids are in everyday and make it a better environment, it’s more conducive to better learning,” said Mr. Stoskopf.

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