WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAU) -- The second of four planned workshops was held Monday evening, as Wausau School District board members discuss the long term facility needs. As the more populated younger grades advance, Wausau School District will have to make adjustments, which may include allocating different building space for the EEA Academy and EGL Charter School which are both housed at Wausau East High School. That’s because the Wausau East student population is expected to increase in the coming years.
School Board President Michelle Schaefer says the board is very early in the process of determining their long term facility needs. She says one big factor in deciding what to do about school buildings and resources is the changing curriculum and teaching methods. “Our children are more fluid. There’s small groups, large groups, so the way instruction is delivered has changed significantly, and I would even say, you know, as we move forward ten years, it’s going to even look different than it is now.”
The school board is working with Plunkett Raysich Architects, LLP, which has developed six preliminary facility master plans. They involve several options for adding on to existing schools, replacing existing buildings, closing buildings, and redistricting students to different schools. Schaefer says these are only preliminary concepts, and the board will have to study costs, student population, and public feedback before making decisions... especially if a school might be closed. “Whether we look at redrawing boundaries or closing schools, that’s why we would not move forward with any of those things without community engagement, without talking to our stakeholders, our community, our administrators, everybody involved.”
Schaefer says the school board will have a tough decision to make based on the long-term needs of the students. They will be considering long term costs like maintenance on old structures versus new construction in some cases.