The Abbotsford School Board was informed Monday that the district has officially been awarded a FEMA grant for the construction of a storm shelter and multi-purpose dome.
“What I can tell you, in case you have not heard, the Abbotsford School District did win the FEMA grant officially on May 7,” superintendent Sherry Baker told board members. “All systems are a go, so we are pretty excited about that.”
The grant will cover 75 percent of the cost of the outer structure, some $2.2 million dollars, with the district’s share coming out to just over $700,000.
The district’s next step will be to release requests for proposals (RFP), which will be done as early as this week.
“We will be sending the RFP to every Wisconsin architect or engineer firm that we can come up with,” Baker said. “We will post the RFP in the paper, and we’ll have it on our website.”
From there, the board will narrow down a list of architects and hire a firm to manage the project.
“The architect and engineer approach I believe is a very secure one,” Baker said. “They develop the plan . . . and then they will walk us through the process of finding the people who can get it done.”
The district hopes to break ground on the project in the spring of 2022, with the outer shell completed sometime in the fall. The district has up to three years to complete the exterior from the time the grant is awarded.
District officials hope to use the interior for classroom space to accommodate the growing student population. Other uses include a theater stage and extra space for wrestling or basketball practices.
Donations come in
Baker told the board that donations to the district continue to pour in for the pool repair project, the FEMA storm shelter and an expansion of the tech ed. department.
“We did receive over $300,000 in donations from an anonymous donor through Vanguard Charitable,” Baker said. “$100,000 of that is for the FEMA grant, $100,000 is for the pool and another $100,000 is granted to the tech. ed. department.”
To date, the district has received $227,000 in donations towards the pool repairs. The board had initially approved taking out a $700,000 loan for the project, but thanks to current donations, the loan is presently sitting at $473,000. Over $300,000 has also been pledged towards the storm shelter/multi-purpose dome.
“When you think of the community here, and you think of all the donations we have received for our projects, we are supported beyond words,” Baker said.
_ Eric Reis was appointed to serve another term as the board president, with Gary Schraufnagl to serve as vice-president. Jim Hirsch will serve as the clerk and Eric Brodhagen will serve as the treasurer.
_ The board accepted the resignations of Jon Piva as boys basketball coach, Aracellis Gonzales Cortez as elementary bilingual aide and Alison Hudak as the K-1st grade dual language teacher.
_ The board approved the hiring of Melissa Pilgrim as middle school/high school principal for the 2021-22 school year. Pilgrim resides in Medford and has spent the last nine years as principal of Prentice Middle/High School. Prior to being a principal, she served as Prentice’s high school guidance counselor for one year. Before working in Prentice, Pilgrim was a guidance counselor at Marathon Area Elementary School for 11 years.
_ The board made a motion to hire Brian Lewison as a high social studies teacher, Dillon Novak as a 4K-12 physical education teacher, and Jessica Drewitz, Alexis Belliet, Faith Tennison and Madelyn Nelson as elementary school teachers. Brent Faber was also hired as the varsity boys basketball coach, and Joe Aguilera and Chance Clement were approved to be interim track co-coaches for 2021.
_ Summer school is scheduled to start July 5 and run through July 31. Breakfast and lunch will be provided. Around 130 students are signed up for summer school this year.