Turner OKs secure entrances project

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TOWN OF BELOIT - Turner School Board members approved a construction project for the district's secure entrance portion of the referendum plan as well as open enrollment applications for the upcoming school year on Monday.

The School District of Beloit Turner Board of Education approved a $399,478 bid from Corporate Contractors Inc. (CCI) for the safe and secure entrances project and authorized continued discussions with CCI to reduce the cost of the project to the district's $200,000 scope.

Brad Boll, director of business services, said all of the bids the district received were above the district's $200,000 budget, but CCI offered the lowest bid.

He said the plan is to install entrances at Powers Elementary School and the middle and high school that funnel visitors into an office instead of visitors having direct access to the school.

Work will begin in June and is set to be complete by the start of the 2019-2020 school year.

Last year, the district was one of many local districts to be awarded School Safety Grants. The two grants from the Wisconsin Department of Justice totaled $164,107. The district has used some of the funds to install shatter-resistant security film on doors and windows, replace public address systems, conduct staff training and add new communication systems.

The secure entrances project is part of a larger $26.485 million facilities referendum plan that voters approved in November of 2018.

Last month, the board approved contractors for the high school gym floor and bleacher replacement project, which will cost an estimated $300,000. Boll previously said if the project exceeds the $300,000 mark, any additional costs would come out of the district's general fund.

Officials say the original gym floor was installed in 1963, and the west portion now used for varsity sports was installed in 1988. The outdated floors aren't level with one another.

The gym project will start the day after graduation on June 3 and will be finished in early August.

The rest of the referendum plan calls for science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics (STEAM) additions to the middle/high school and a new second-fifth grade elementary school.

According to a schedule prepared by the Milwaukee-based firm Bray Architects, the STEAM additions are set to be complete in August of 2020, and the new school will be complete in August of 2021.

Officials say the goal is to break ground on the STEAM additions by Nov. 1, then once school is out of session in the summer of 2020 walls can be torn down. However, this is contingent on the weather.

Officials estimate the new elementary school will be designed by January of 2020, with construction beginning in March of that year.

The referendum plan will eventually close Townview Elementary School and move second graders out of Powers and into the new school. Officials say no work using referendum funds will be done at Townview.

In terms of open enrollment, the school board approved 63 applications for Powers Elementary School, including 30 applications for 4K, 23 for 5K, zero for first grade and 10 for second grade. The estimated enrollment at Powers is 380 students.

At Townview Elementary School, there were eight applications approved for third grade and zero for grades four and five. The school's estimated enrollment is 352 students.

At Turner Middle School, there was one application accepted for sixth grade and none for grades seven and eight. The middle school's estimated enrollment is 362 students.

No applications were accepted at the high school, which has an estimated enrollment of 473 students.

Five spaces in each grade level has been reserved for residential growth, and each grade level has a waiting list.

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