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Architect chosen for Platteville school projects
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The Platteville School Board chose the developer of the concepts on which school district voters approved a $15 million referendum April 7 to design the buildings.

Plunkett Raysich Architects of Milwaukee was chosen by the board June 8 to design the $16.6 million in building improvements in all four Platteville Public Schools buildings where PPS classes are held.

The project includes building an addition to Westview Elementary School to move first grade from Neal Wilkins Early Learning Center and fourth grade from Platteville Middle School, plus a new gymnasium. It also involves reconfiguring the vehicle entrance and parking lot.

The project also includes renovating science spaces at Platteville Middle School and Platteville High School, reconfiguring classroom space at Neal Wilkins, and upgrading all four schools’ entrances.

The school board is expected to vote on a contract with PRA at its next meeting Monday at 6 p.m., a scheduled board retreat. After the contract, the next steps outlined by superintendent Connie Valenza are to send out Requests for Proposals for a construction management firm, finalizing the design, and then soliciting bids.

Valenza said the original timeline of opening the Westview addition by the fall of 2016 will be “difficult, although not impossible to meet” because “The best price will likely involve [bidding] the full project. That will take time to meet with staff and finalize everything. Then we need to go out to bid.”

Valenza said if footings can’t be poured this fall, “how soon we are able to start in spring will drive the completion date and cost.”

The project will be funded by $15 million in borrowing over 20 years approved in the referendum, $1 million from the school district’s fund balance, and $1.62 million from the school district’s maintenance budget over several years. 

The borrowing is not expected to significantly affect the debt-service portion of the school district’s tax levy, because borrowing for 1990s building projects will be paid off in the 2016–17 fiscal year.