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Summer construction underway in District 88

“Medium” summer project-wise; wireless services tentatively coming

July 1, 2012
By Kremena Spengler - Staff Writer , The Journal

NEW ULM - It is a "medium" construction summer for District 88, with projects proceeding on schedule, District 88 Facilities Director Scott Hogen said Thursday.

The biggest capital project under way involves replacing domestic (drinking) water pipes at Jefferson School.

It started at the end of May and is one-quarter of the way through, Hogen said.

The cost is $150,000, and the project should be completed by mid-August.

The district is also upgrading the Jefferson Elementary School playground by putting in a surface rubber mat system.

This summer marks the second phase of this project, which started last summer and will be finished next year.

At the end of the current season, the project will be three-quarters done.

The playground project is paid for with a health-and-safety tax levy; this year's portion costs $70,000.

Another summer project involves elevator code upgrades at Washington Elementary School.

Washington School is the last building to undergo such improvements, said Hogen.

The project will be finished next week, and the price tag is $70,000.

The district is also adding a 30-unit desktop computer lab at Jefferson, at $25,000.

In addition to these projects, maintenance staff are making modifications to special needs rooms, to meet the needs of students who are transitioning to a different building, said Hogen.

Staff are doing painting, general maintenance and summer cleaning.

All the projects should be completed by Aug. 24.


District 88 is also tentatively scheduled to complete a significant technology upgrade, the installation of wireless services.

"We are in the process of walk-throughs with contractors," said Hogen.

Bids for this project will be opened at 2 p.m. on July 12.

The $200,000 project includes replacement of obsolete switches and installing wireless services throughout each building.

Schools are seeing an increasing use of wireless technology (iPads, iPhones, etc.) in instruction, and more content is coming through e-textbooks, notes Technology Director Bill Sprung.

Without wireless access, the district is unable to take advantage of these trends.

While the short-term impact of installing wireless access may be limited, the long-term impact will outweigh that of SmartBoards, Sprung believes.

The wireless installation project may continue into the school year and be completed during after-school hours, said Hogen.



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