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Some construction work expected to resume at FHS
Foundation Prep
Some above-grade construction work is expected to resume Monday at Fennimore Middle/High School. - photo by John Linden photo

As the citizens of Fennimore on Thursday reacted to Tuesday’s news that construction work has been halted at Fennimore Middle High School – good news arrived.

The Fennimore Community School District earlier today requested and filed a permission to proceed document with City of Fennimore Building Inspector Dennis Hampton.

“We asked Mr. Hampton to consider allowing us to  proceed with construction above grade as long as we did not proceed on the area in question,” Fennimore Community Schools District Administrator Jamie Nutter said. “Everything else will be moving forward. At this point, Mr. Hampton has given us a verbal commitment that will suffice for a building permit until we are able to get one after the Oct. 20th meeting.

“[Hampton's] duty is to make sure all requirements are fulfilled through the application process. He is the final say in granting a building permit.”

The City of Fennimore’s Zoning Board of Appeals will hold a Public Hearing Monday, Oct. 20 at 9 a.m. in the Council Chambers of the Fennimore Memorial Building. It will consider an appeal by the school district to allow the easternmost addition to the south side of the middle/high school to be approximately two feet from the property line and the center portion of the addition to be nine feet from the property line.

If the Board approves the school district’s variance, construction will proceed as planned. If the Board denies the variance, a portion of the concrete footings already poured will need to be removed.

Nutter is hopeful work will resume at the school on Monday.

“Kraemer Brothers pulled their workers and put them in other job sites,” he said. “We are hopeful they will be back on the job site Monday.

“Instead of being 10 days behind, they will be five days behind. Today’s action will help our budget to get back to originally where it was supposed to be.”

Construction work was halted Tuesday following a meeting of the Board, in which it reviewed and approved minutes from meetings held March 3 and March 5, during which it considered an appeal by the school district to allow the addition to be approximately two feet from the south property line at the easternmost portion, and 10 feet from the property line in the center portion.

The appeal approved by the Board on March 5 varied slightly from the school district’s request. The extension to the south side of the middle/high school was to be approximately four feet from the property line at the eastern portion and 10 feet from the property line in the center portion.

Due to a mutual misunderstanding between the school district and Board regarding the location of the property line at the school, concrete footings poured last month are two feet, three inches from the property line, rather than four feet.
Attorney Richard C. Yde of Stafford Rosebaum LLP, Madison, advised the Board Tuesday it was to do nothing more than review the minutes of the March 3 and March 5 meetings and approve those minutes as presented, or with modifications.

The Board unanimously approved the minutes as presented, meaning the addition is in violation of the setback requirement by a mere 21’’.

A Public Hearing must be posted in a municipalities’ official newspaper, in this case the Fennimore Times, at least 10 days prior to the meeting. Prior to today’s developments, no work was expected to be done above grade until then.

“This was a nice win-win situation,” Nutter said. “We have to respect the appeal process, but, it is not all or nothing.
“This is a nice comprise to have creative thinking and have some things done without going against the directive of the Zoning Board of Appeals minutes as they are right now.”