While Platteville athletic teams’ official colors are cardinal and white, construction orange or safety yellow might be an appropriate addition this school year.
Westview Elementary School is bracketed to the west and east by construction equipment as the largest part of the school building project is beginning, if not to take shape, then to take form inside the campus boundaries.
The largest amount of work now is on the east side, with work under way on the two-story addition that will allow Westview to add first and fourth grades, including footings and foundations and first-floor masonry. Footings and foundations are also going in for the new gymnasium on the west side, with first-floor masonry work due to start next week.
The second set of bids — for Westview’s entrances and windows, wall panels, roofing and glazing — were low enough for the school district to be “on target financially at this point,” according to Platteville Public Schools superintendent Connie Valenza. Although windows were “significantly above budget,” changing brick manufacturers helped reduce costs on that portion of the $16.6 million school district-wide project.
Valenza said it was “a lot easier to predict cost” for the Westview work because there will be little renovation of the existing building beyond a more secure entrance.
There has been one unexpected cost, of about $25,000, when workers accidentally hit the sanitary sewer pipe, which in turn exposed problems with the existing sewer line, Valenza said. PPS is considering replacement of the sewer pipe while digging equipment is on site.
A Westview interior design meeting is scheduled for Thursday, with a preconstruction meeting next Wednesday.
The school district will be bidding technological upgrades, including computer wiring, telephones, cameras and door systems, for all four buildings soon. Each building is getting the current state-of-the-art secure entrance redesign in which all visitors will have to come directly through the office to get into the building. The next major Westview bid package will be for mechanical, plumbing and electrical work, in January.
Other school district work includes reconfiguring science classrooms at Platteville High School and Platteville Middle School, and reconfiguring classrooms at Neal Wilkins Early Learning Center, with first grade leaving for Westview.