BY LEE REINSCH
FROM FATHER – For lack of a crystal ball, the Unified School District de De Pere will enlist the help of a local architect and engineering firm to assess what is on the horizon for the neighborhood.
The Board of Education voted unanimously this week to partner with Somerville Architects and Engineers of Green Bay to help the district study what needs to be done to prepare its facilities for years to come.
The school district will pay Somerville approximately $9,500 for the service.
Somerville will assess all buildings in the school district taking into account current capacity levels and future growth, expansion, development in the district, enrollment projections and demographic trends, while keeping in mind education trends and learning styles.
The board voted last month to work with two university consultants, Howick Associates, of Waunakee, and School Perceptions, of Slinger, to develop a strategic plan.
It will be a seven-month process that will help the district update its mission, identify core values and chart a course for future educational programs.
“When the information from the Strategic Plan and the Facilities Plans are combined, they will provide a cohesive approach for the De Pere Unified School District community to move toward the desired future state of the district,” said Dr. Christopher Thompson. , Superintendent of Schools of the Unified School. District of De Pere, said.
The facilities plan may include a feasibility study.
Somerville will examine all buildings in the neighborhood, inside and out (including windows, roofs, parking lots and sidewalks); electrical systems, heating and ventilation, plumbing, security systems, accessibility, as well as floor-level configurations.
The school district’s current student population is approximately 4,400 students, with a collective enrollment of 575.
District facilities include De Pere High School, De Pere Middle School (grades 7-8), Foxview Middle School (grades 5-6), and the three elementary schools (K- 4): Dickenson Elementary School, Susie G. Altmayer Elementary School and Heritage Elementary School.
Several private daycares offer pre-kindergarten services, as does an on-site learning center in high school.
The district office is also on the high school campus.
According to the latest enrollment count, Foxview Intermediate is over capacity by eight students (capacity is 650; enrollment is 658); De Pere Middle School is at full capacity (enrollment is 675); De Pere High School has room for an additional 42 students (capacity is 1,500; enrollment is 1,458); Dickinson Elementary has room for an additional 74 students (capacity is 594; enrollment is 520); Heritage Elementary has room for an additional 64 students (capacity is 638; enrollment is 574); and Susie G. Altmayer Elementary has a capacity of 216 students (capacity is 638; enrollment is 422).
Other engineering firms considered by the district were charging fees of up to $53,000 to complete the work, with the next lowest price in Somerville being $18,400.