3/9/17 MHS Renovation Update (updated at 11:06 AM):
Today was groundbreaking day! Please visit our MHS Facebook page for photos from the groundbreaking ceremony. Also, we would like to point website viewers to our Communications Resources section below where we will post update flyers from our construction company.
2/28/17 MHS Renovation Update (updated at 12:33 PM):
Starting Friday, March 3rd, there will be major changes to the dropoff area in front of MHS. As shown in the map, the front drive to MHS will be blocked off so construction can begin on the new performing arts center. Cars which drop off in front of MHS will loop around and exit the same entrance (right turn exit only). To help make the new driving pattern a success, parents/guardians are encouraged to have students take the bus if possible, drop off students by 6:45 AM, pick up students after 3:00 PM, or drop off students in the neighborhood to the east and have them use the walking path. CLICK HERE OR ON THE IMAGE FOR DRIVING PATTERNS CHANGES TO FRONT OF MHS:
Due to construction, we will lose dozens of students parking spots. As such, we have a very limited amount of permanent parking stickers available for the rest of the year. The remaining parking stickers will be made available to MHS seniors first in a lottery format which will be explained further in the days ahead. Daily parking will be sold in limited numbers. Students are encouraged to listen to morning announcements for details.
SHREK, JR. MUSICALS: There are some construction issues that will have a slight effect on community members attending upcoming performances. On March 3rd, the front drive to MHS will be closed off as the crews begin to build our new PAC. With the front drive being closed, door #3 (main entrance by the commons) will no longer be usable. For patrons who park in the west lot, they can enter MHS using door #2 (by the library). For people who park in the East lot, door #9 is open as well as door #22 (entrance by the softball and baseball fields). Please look for signage that will direct you to these open doors.
9/14/16 MHS Renovation Update:
The district has been conducting planning meetings with focus groups, the architect, and builder to further shape the next steps of the renovation project. As of 9/14/16, the planning team has reached the 50% milestone in the design process. Tentative renderings of the first and second floor are viewable here: First Floor MapSecond Floor Map
All design work is scheduled to be completed by November, 2016.
In October, 2016, construction work to redesign the east and south parking lots will begin. This construction will allow all thirty-two school buses to pick up and drop off students from designated spaces in those lots beginning in March, 2017.
Once all bus pickup/dropoffs move to the east and south lots in March, parent pickups and dropoffs will continue on the northwest corner and west side of the school. The current north driving lane in front of the building will be removed.
Also in March, 2017, construction work will begin on several new learning spaces: the performing arts center, music classrooms, two-stage gymnasium, and approximately ten second floor classrooms.
The district will accept bids starting January 1, 2017.
On Wednesday, November 2, 2016, Superintendent Shawn McNulty will be present at 7:00 PM at Mukwonago High School to update the public about the renovation. The community is invited to attend!
4/5/16 MHS Referendum Update:
On April 5, 2016, the Mukwonago Community voted to approve two referendum questions on the April 5, 2016 election ballot.
Question 1: INITIAL RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING GENERAL OBLIGATION BONDS IN AN AMOUNT NOT TO EXCEED $49,500,000
Question 2: RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING THE SCHOOL DISTRICT BUDGET TO EXCEED REVENUE LIMIT BY $350,000 FOR TWENTY YEARS FOR NON-RECURRING PURPOSES
Subcontractors must be pre-qualified through CG Schmidt prior to their bid being considered. The prequalification form can be found at the link above.
A pre-bid conference will be held. It is scheduled for Thursday, January 12th, 2017 at 3:00 PM. (Meet at the CG Schmidt jobsite trailer between the existing school and the football field).
Bid Proposals for WC 04-Site Concrete, WC 08-Building Concrete, WC 10-Demolition and WC 18-Carpentry
Bid Proposals for WC 04-Site Concrete, WC 08-Buidling Concrete, WC 10-Demolition and WC 18-Carpentry are to be sealed and marked "Attn: Curt Wiebelhaus." Hand deliver these bids to the Mukwonago Area School District Office. The building address is 385 E. Veterans Way (a.k.a. County Highway NN), Mukwonago, WI 53149. Bids are due prior to January 26th, 2017 at 2:00PM. The Bid Proposals will be opened in private by Mukwonago Area School District.
All other Bids
All other bid proposals may be faxed to CG Schmidt (414) 577-1155 or emailed to Ryan Schmidt at (firstname.lastname@example.org). Mark the designation or subject line as “Bid Proposal for Mukwonago High School Additions, Remodeling, Maintenance Improvements to Mukwonago High School, Work Category
No.____” (see Work Category Listing).
COMPLETED: Create a Master Plan for MHS to be used as a guide for long range planning.
COMPLETED: Establish a Community Steering Committee to assist with defining and refining the referendum plan.
COMPLETED: Educate and gather information from all residents of MASD in the form of a survey to help finalize a referendum plan.
COMPLETED: School Perceptions, Bray Architects and the Community Steering Committee are analyzing survey results and will - if necessary - suggest modifications to the referendum plan. On 10/26/15, the district will provide a final recommendation to the Board of Education for approval.
COMPLETED: Mukwonago School Board takes action on three questions to decide whether to proceed to April 5, 2016 referendum. (NOTE: All three motions passed; ballot questions are listed at the top of this web page.)
COMPLETED: Post Board Resolution through April 5, 2016 Referendum Vote. Starting 12/22/15, residents will be informed through open community meetings, direct mail pieces, continuous updates on the District website, and a variety of other means. Opportunities for questions from community members will be varied and frequent.
COMPLETED: Include a referendum question on the ballot, which, if successful will result in renovated spaces as planned.
JUNE, 2016: School staff are continuing to meet with architects to determine various aspects of project phases before announcing timelines.
SEPT., 2016: Construction on the southeast parking lot has been completed.
Mukwonago High School was built in 1972 to serve 915 students. Although there have been renovations over the past four decades, major parts of the facility are too small and outdated and thus fail to meet the needs of the current MHS population of 1,600 students. Detailed plans will be contained in the Community Survey.
This is an exciting time for the Mukwonago Area School District as our students continue to excel in and out of the classroom. Academically, our schools rank in the top 10% of the state, based on the Department of Public Instruction’s report card, and nearly 98% of our recent graduates are pursuing a two or four-year college degree. While our focus remains on student learning, we’ve also been working to control costs.
ranks in the lowest 10% in the state in cost-per-student spending.
has one of the lowest property tax mill rates in the region.
We are proud of this rare combination of top academic performance coupled with responsible spending.
The Mukwonago Area School District has positioned itself very well financially to continue implementing the Master Plan that was developed for Mukwonago High School. Current projections indicate that Mukwonago Area School District will be debt free in 2018. This fiscal responsibility would allow the district to address many needs at the high school that will help improve the quality of education and continue -- with minimal tax impact -- to attract students.
Please click on the plus (+) sign next to each time to see answers.
ANSWER: The Mukwonago School District has been under strict revenue limits since 1994. 22 years ago, the state legislature decided to control school spending by establishing revenue limits. The limits were based upon the district's spending budget of 1993. As MASD was a conservative spending district at that time, its revenue limit was set at low amount. Other districts at that time were much higher spenders and their cap was established at a much higher limit. Thus, at times, MASD needs to ask taxpayers for additional revenue to exceed that cap. The non-recurring purpose means that the School Board is asking for the additional $ 350,000 each year for 20 years (a recurring purpose would be to exceed the limit permanently).
The additional $350,000 covers the increase in costs for the new space created at MHS if question #1 passes. If question 1 passes, there will be an additional 97,000 square feet of new space (130,000 square feet of renovated space). There will be additional costs associated with the new space including heating, cooling, water, custodial supplies and labor. There are also replacement costs for some items included in the project. For example, the new space includes a new auditorium. Some of the seating in the auditorium may be worn out before the end of the 20 years. Thus, the district would set aside some of the $350,000 each year to replace seats, lighting, and other maintenance items.
ANSWER: The proposed renovations impact many of the community/public areas of the building, including the auditorium and gymnasium. The new auditorium will better serve the needs of the district, and it will be large enough to attract additional community and traveling presentations/productions. The gymnasium addition will create more opportunities for the community to use all of the gym spaces (new and old) within the high school, such as senior walking, craft fairs, community presentations, recreation leagues, etc.
ANSWER: The current cafeteria size and configuration causes many limitations for its use and functionality. Due to its small size, students are spread over five lunch periods with the first group eating at 10:20 am.The proposed plan includes an expansion of the cafeteria that will reduce the number of lunch periods from five to two. The reduced number of lunch periods will allow for a more flexible class schedule and give students more opportunities to take additional classes. This is not possible with the current schedule of five lunch periods. A raised platform area will also allow for presentations within the cafeteria. The serving kitchen will be relocated closer to the district kitchen, and the serving equipment will be contained within a designated room rather than sprawl into the seating areas.
ANSWER: The serving kitchen and cafeteria have not been enlarged since 1972 when MHS was built to serve 900 students. Thus, the current schedule requires five lunch periods starting at 10:20 AM -- before 10 AM on early release days -- to accommodate serving all students.
A larger cafeteria and serving kitchen would enable the high school to reduce the lunch periods from five down to two or three.. This would provide more flexibility to explore other master schedules including block, modified block, and an eight period day. It would also allow students to take more courses then they can with the current seven period day.
If the referendum questions are approved on April 5, 2016, high school administration and staff would immediately start to explore scheduling options. Schedules for high performing high schools in the Southeastern Wisconsin would be studied, and student, parent and School Board input would be needed. Due to the significance of this decision-making process, a new master schedule would not be implemented until construction is completed, possibly during the 2017-18 school year.
ANSWER: The Mukwonago School District performs regular building maintenance on all of their facilities. The funding for this work comes from an annual budget which can handle small- and even some medium-cost projects, but it cannot absorb expensive projects such as the a complete rooftop equipment replacement.
All the rooftop units scheduled to be replaced were originally installed as part of the 1993 Addition and Renovation to Mukwonago High School. The expected equipment life of a packaged rooftop unit per ASHRAE (American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers) is fifteen years. The current units are approximately 26 years old.
The district has replaced six of the worst units so far using operational funds and available fund balance. If the remaining roof top units are replaced all at once, there will be repair cost savings, fewer HVAC related disruptions to classes, reduced energy cost, improved indoor air quality, and a lower cost for replacement of the units. Each time a unit is replaced, it requires a large crane or a helicopter to set the new unit. If the district continues to replace a few units per year as funds are available, it incurs a fixed cost for each mobilization, whereas if the district replaces all the remaining units at one time, it will pay a fixed cost one time for the crane or helicopter mobilization.
ANSWER: The use and function of libraries within schools has changed within the last five years. Libraries have evolved into a spaces that are flexible and constantly changing. While physical books are still important, the bookshelves are dispersed throughout the space and de-emphasized. This allows for spaces to be created which serve small groups (defined within conference rooms), medium size groups, and large groups (up to two classes).
The furniture within the library also has to support a constantly changing environment. The plan calls for new flexible furniture to replace the heavy immobile furniture that was once the standard in libraries. Students and staff will have the ability to choose from many different types of seating options depending on their needs and task.
The renovated library will also include an Academic Resource Center that will consolidate staff currently spread throughout the building into one location. Students looking for support will have one place within the building to go for help.
ANSWER: The new main entry will be supported by the full main office rather than just the attendance staff. This consolidation of staff will result in better communication and service to the students, parents and visitors.
The proposed second floor work will improve safety within the building. Currently, the corridors on the second floor are narrow and congested. The revised classroom layout on the second floor will improve classroom efficiency and widen the corridors to allow for better traffic floor and supervision.
The technology education area will have better access and supervision through the reconfiguration of those spaces and the introduction of a new hallway.
The proposed multipurpose gymnasium and auditorium additions will allow for those portions of the building to be closed off from the rest of the school to avoid students from roaming the halls during afterschool functions.
ANSWER: Educational instruction is changing within schools. There is a movement away from subject-based curriculum towards student-based learning. In order for the physical classroom environment to support the shift in educational delivery, the classrooms need to allow for students to work as individuals, within groups, and within the traditional classroom setting. Additionally, there may be times were two or three classrooms require flexibility to collaborate on a topic. The breakout spaces that are proposed will give students and staff the ability to expand beyond the walls of their classroom. Students and staff will populate these areas during all periods of the day.
ANSWER: The results of the community survey indicated a lack of support for a fieldhouse.
The gymnasium addition as designed will include space for three basketball courts/physical education spaces and allow for adequate seating for large events such as graduation, all-school assemblies, etc.
A fieldhouse is typically defined as a gymnasium large enough for four basketball courts and a 160-meter running track. The feedback MASD heard from high school staff and instructors was that a 160-meter track is not appropriate for varsity track members because the turns are too tight. Where indoor events are held at neighboring districts, the varsity teams seldom compete. The staff and coaches felt that unless it was 200-meters, the track would not be used enough to justify the cost.
The Steering Committee explored an option for a larger fieldhouse to accommodate a 200-meter track. Currently, only one 200-meter indoor facility is available within a Wisconsin high school : Eagle River High School. A fieldhouse with a 200-meter track would have affected a much larger portion of the site at Mukwonago. The baseball field and both soccer fields would have been disrupted due to the larger footprint. Because of the additional site and building costs alongside a lack of community support for a fieldhouse structure, the committee decided the 200-meter fieldhouse was not an option.
ANSWER: As this article describes, the success of technical education is heavily influenced by staffing, but it is also essential that the facilities match the vision for the school programs. If districts are vying for limited staffing positions, it is all the more important that a school invest in adequate facilities to attract staff. Mukwonago is fortunate to have a stable group of instructors, but their ability to teach 21st century concepts is limited by the configuration of a 1970’s building. Given that the MHS technical education area is often referred to as “the Dungeon” by decades of students, many students don’t make an effort to find out what trades classes are available to them.
The proposed renovation for technical education will flip the script for this area of the building and put the great work that these students are doing on display. Students will be able to see the activity within the woods and metals labs. Staff will have appropriate classroom spaces to support their newly configured lab spaces. The Project Lead the Way spaces will be put on display to inspire and encourage students to explore other program offerings at Mukwonago High School.
ANSWER: Prevailing wage is the lowest wage and benefits required by State Statute that must be paid to workers on qualifying publicly-funded construction projects. When the State Legislature passed the new State budget during the summer of 2015, it enacted the repeal of this requirement on publicly funded projects that use their bonding authority to finance projects. The law will take effect on January 1st, 2017. Repeal of the law was assisted by claims that projects would see significant overall project savings from the ability to pay workers less.
If the referendum passes, we will spend several months working on the final design of the project. Our project team will work to maximize the labor cost savings opportunities with bidding not occurring until early 2017. At this time, we are anticipating additional clarifications from the State in the coming months that will clarify the specific rules and requirements for the new law.
ANSWER: If the referendum questions pass on April 5, we will start some site work this coming summer (June 2016). We have significant work to be done with our parking lots. As this is a substantial project (97,000 square feet of new space and 130,000 square feet of renovated space) we would also need to spend significant time designing and finalizing plans for the educational spaces. That process would take about six months. The project would then be bid out after January 1, 2017. We hope to start construction on the high school facility next March, 2017. The entire project would be completed during the 2018-19 school year.
As part of the $49.5 referendum financing plan, MASD decided to borrow the funds in a two-step approach:
1.Borrow $39.5 million in general obligation refunding bonds in August, 2016
2.Borrow $10.0 million in general obligation promissory notes in January, 2017
In August, MASD finalized the initial borrow of $39.5 million. In early communications with the MASD community, projected interest rates came in at 4.50%. Due to a great interest rate environment, the district's strong AA bond rating, and a better than anticipated state aid position, the district was able to finalize it's borrowing of $39.5 million with a 2.84% interest rate. This is a very favorable interest rate. Furthermore, MASD was able to reduce the total 20-year financing cost by more than $20 million from the original projections.
Photo Gallery of Areas Under Consideration in Master Plan:
Click the white dropdown menu and the picture thumbnails on the right to visit the eight areas under consideration for renovation.
The safety of students and staff is always a top priority. Since the high school main office is situated in the center of the building, the committee is exploring plans to relocate it to the front of the building. Offices for the administrators and the school resource officer in that location would better monitor and control visitor access. Additionally, increased space in crowded hallways will help improve supervision.
Click on the thumbnails to the right to view a larger photo here.
The narrow hallways of Mukwonago High School were far less crowded in 1972 when the school served 900 students. Today, over 1,600 students must make their way through the building during crowded passing times, making it harder to get through the halls and more difficult to supervise.
MHS Visitor Entrance
Visitors to MHS must sign in before entrance doors are unlocked to allow entry. Once inside the building, however, visitors find that main offices, guidance offices, and the police liaison office are located further down the hall away from windows. With a renovation, some or all of these officed would be relocated to the front of the building for safety and security reasons.
MHS Visitor Entrance
MHS visitors currently greet staff at the visitor's window before being allowed into the school. Once in the building, however, visitors find the offices for administration, guidance, and police liasion officer are further down the hallway. With a renovation, some or all of these offices would be relocated to the front of the building for safety and security reasons.
MHS Main Office
The MHS main office is located down the hallway away from the front entrance and has no windows to view outside activity.With a renovation, some or all of these offices would be relocated to the front of the building for safety and security reasons.
Associate Principals' Offices
The MHS associate principals' offices are located down the hallway away from the front entrance and have no windows to view outside activity.With a renovation, some or all of these officed would be relocated to the front of the building for safety and security reasons.
Associate Principals and Police Liaison Offices
The MHS associate principals' offices and the police liaison office are located down the hallway away from the front entrance and have no windows to view outside activity. With a renovation, some or all of these offices would be relocated to the front of the building for safety and security reasons.
In 2015, the Mukwonago community was invited to participate in a community survey to assess the needs and support for a referendum project. The results of that survey, offically entitled the Community Referendum Planning Survey, are below:
(Calculator updated on 2/24/16) Ten municipalities encompassing a large, ninety square mile area each pay taxes supporting Mukwonago Schools. Use this calculator to estimate the tax impact of the proposed referendum on your own home. Or, download an Excel spreadsheet for further calculations > Download Spreadsheet