Vessey

Beaver Dam Unified School District Steve Vessey looks over some possible elementary school floor plans for the improvements planned for Beaver Dam schools. Students in Beaver Dam will go to school for 20 minutes more each day and end the school year on May 22. The changes start with students going to school 10 minutes earlier each day starting on Tuesday.

Students in the Beaver Dam Unified School District will begin school 10 minutes earlier and leave 10 minutes later starting Tuesday.

Voters approved a referendum Nov. 8 which asked for $48.9 million to pay for improvements for district buildings, including remodeling nearly all of Beaver Dam High School.

Superintendent Steve Vessey said the changes to the schedule will affect the spring 2017 semester and the 2017-18 school year. It will help reduce the cost of the project and provide time to complete the project by the middle of August 2018.

Vessey said Thursday that families should talk to their students about the need to get up 10 minutes early for school.

“Don’t assume that they know and have a plan,” Vessey said. “I think it will be less of an issue for the elementary kids than the secondary kids,”

Second semester begins Tuesday in the Beaver Dam Unified School District. The semester was shortened with classes ending May 22 in order to increase the time construction can be done in the schools.

Beaver Dam Middle School’s eighth grade celebration will be May 19, Beaver Dam High School graduation will be May 21 and Don Smith Learning Academy graduation will be May 22.

Vessey said the additional time in the class days will be used for language arts instruction at the grade school level. At the middle school and high school level between two and three minutes will be added to all classes.

BUILDING COMMITTEE MEETING

The building committee, which includes school board members, administration and architects, has been meeting every Wednesday to make decisions about the projects. Vessey said the final decisions owill go through the Beaver Dam School Board.

The group has met with representatives of the high school staff and Vessey said it will do that three different times. The first meeting was to get input on the space needed for different programs in the school.

“We took the input and completed a space plan,” Vessey said.

Additional meetings are scheduled next week.

“We will show them a rough draft of the floor plan of the space without it labeled,” Vessey said. “After that meeting with the staff, we will take their input and complete a draft of the floor plan for the high school.”

The first phase of the project will begin over the summer, Vessey said. During this phase, the tech education wing will be removed from the building and the south gym will be converted into a fabrication lab. The lab room expansion also will be completed as will remodeling of rooms on the west end of the building.

Phase one also will include starting construction of the new entrance and office area on the east end of the building.

“The goal is to have the fabrication lab functional by Sept. 1 and a set of classrooms functional and remodeled by Sept. 1,” Vessey said.

The entrances of many of the other buildings in the district will be updated next year as well. However, Prairie View will not be done until the following summer so it can be used for elementary summer school this summer.

“It’s likely that we will not do the middle school entrance until next summer as well,” Vessey said.

Reporter at The Daily Citizen