10/23/19 FAC - Meeting 2 Recap

The School District of Fort Atkinson had their second Facilities Advisory Committee (FAC) meeting last night, as a continuation of the development of a long-range Master Facilities Plan.  The FAC is comprised of 28 volunteers from various areas of the community - students, community members, parents, business members, alumni, and School District of Fort Atkinson team members. Alongside representatives from CG Schmidt (CGS) Construction and Plunkett Raysich Architects (PRA), the FAC’s mission is to evaluate the facilities needs facing the School District of Fort Atkinson, and present potential facility solutions to the community and full School Board for feedback. These committee members will also serve as an informational liaison to the community throughout the planning process.

The meeting began with Dan Chovanec, Vice President at CGS presenting a high-level overview of the existing facilities condition report that outlines all capital maintenance needs. The maintenance lists for all six buildings are categorized under general building, roofing, fire protection, secure entrances, radon testing, plumbing, mechanical and electrical needs, and identified as either urgent in nature, or items that need to be addressed within 2-5 years, 6-10 years, or 10+ years. Committee members were informed that these cost projections are for the maintenance improvement projects identified for each building. The estimates attached to the maintenance items do not include additions, remodeling or new construction.  

Following Chovanec’s presentation, Mario Millonzi from Upper 90 Energy, provided an update on renewable energy infrastructure. Millonzi provided a summary of current energy consumption at each of the buildings for the last three years, along with an analysis of cost savings due to the wind turbine and geothermal energy sources.

FAC Committee Member and student, Sawyer Brandenburg shared, “After going through the middle school and realizing how bad some of the areas are, it’s interesting to learn about what we can do to improve the spaces. When I was a student at the middle school, I didn’t really realize how bad it was until I came back and walked through and started taking a closer look at the condition of the building. When I go to school tomorrow at the high school, I’m going to be looking at things from a different perspective.”   

The meeting concluded with a tour of the Middle School building. Committee members highlighted some areas of concern such as flexible furniture could be utilized to make creative use of the spaces, security cameras could be added, mechanical equipment is nearing the end of its useful life, there is increased wear and tear on the locker rooms and pool facility, and the narrowness of the stairwells. Quite a few FAC members were surprised by the fact that the ground floor only has two bathrooms.

All reports can be found on the district website. The next FAC meeting will be held on Tuesday, November 19th from 6-8 pm at the Fort Atkinson High School. If you have any additional questions about the FAC or the facilities planning process in general, please contact Jason Demerath, Director of Business Services at demerathj@fortschools.org or 920-563-7800.