Rhinelander school district seeks proposals for classroom additions
By Eileen Persike
The School District of Rhinelander Board of Education has taken another step toward the possible reconfiguration of the elementary schools. At a special board meeting Dec. 18, Superintendent Kelli Jacobi was directed to seek requests for proposal (RFP) for the addition of two classrooms each at Crescent, Pelican and Central and also for relocating the main office at Central.
Jacobi said the requests will go out over the holidays and due by Jan. 11 to allow the changes to be in place at the start of the 2019-20 school year.
“The anticipated cost is $3 to $3.5 million,” Jacobi said, adding that the district “wouldn’t have to ask the taxpayers for more money,” since they have enough in the fund balance to cover the project cost.
The board discussed the idea of a return to community schools, in which the elementary schools would each house students in 4K through grade five, at a special meeting in November. With the reconfiguration, Jacobi said the students would have fewer school transitions, and it would also be a more traditional arrangement that would allow the district to “show our real progress” on the state report card.
At one time the district sought to purchase a separate property rather than build onto current buildings, but that is no longer the focus.
“There just isn’t anything available in the city proper and where we need to be,” said Jacobi. “There just are no ideal locations. Long term, going forward we need to be looking at the buildings we already own.”
A Capital Projects Committee is expected to meet before the Jan. 21 regular board meeting and Jacobi said that if the board moves the project forward in January, construction would begin April 1 with a completion date of Aug. 1.