Waterloo looks at referendum design plans

February 15, 2019

WATERLOO -- Referendum design development plans were reviewed and tabled pending further information and clarity by the Waterloo School District Board of Education during Monday’s regular school board meeting.

Presented by Christy Monk of FEH Design and developed by Vierbicher Associates, Inc., the referendum design development plans highlighted a proposed water retention layout, gymnasium space and suggested parking lot configurations.

The proposed water retention layout would bring water around the back of the school building. The existing pipe would be converted and the ground would be revised to act as a water retention area eliminating the need for an end retention area. The water would be retained along the way and the low retention area would remain wet for approximately 24 hours after a rainfall. The reconfiguration of the water retention layout would result in cost savings measures for the district.

The gymnasium space would include a main competition court, bleacher seating on all four sides of the court, a partition area for a possible third court, bathrooms and stairs leading to a mezzanine area and official locker room and training room areas.

“We’re calling it a ‘mechanical mezzanine’ (as) the press box and mechanical equipment will be there,” Monk said in regards to the mezzanine area of the gymnasium.

The proposed parking lot configuration raised concerns as only one entrance and one exit would exist with the new plan and the elementary and high school parking lots would not be connected as they currently exist.

“I didn’t realize we were going to eliminate the connection between the high school and the elementary school parking lots,” Area 2 director Gene Kegler said in regards to the proposed parking lot changes.

Currently there are two existing exits with one located at the elementary school and one located at the high school.

It was noted that when traffic gets backed up in the elementary parking lot, drivers will use the high school parking exit to avoid further traffic issues.

“I am even more concerned about the exit when you have parents from the elementary school area coming up in that area into a narrow space and the high school,” said Area 3 President Bobbi Forman.

Currently 406 parking spaces exist and the new parking lot layout would only increase the number of parking spaces to 433.

Area 3 Vice President Nancy Thompson expressed her concerns with the low number of parking spaces and how parking would be handled if regional events are held at the Waterloo School District.

The proposed one exit option and how the traffic flow will look after large events such as football and basketball games and at the current crosswalk areas at the end of the school day were also brought to Monk’s attention during the meeting.

“I will definitely talk to the civil engineer about the entrances and exit spaces,” Monk said.

“I think, at least for me, there are way too many questions with the site for the board to comfortably approve this tonight,” said Waterloo School District Administrator Brian Henning prior to the board’s decision to table the referendum design development plans. “I just feel like we’re at that point where I don’t think the board should give approval to go forward until we have the answers that you want on those things because they are pretty important things.”

Communication with FEH Design and Vierbicher Associates, Inc. will take place in the near future and a meeting date will then be set to review the referendum design development plans for approval.

In other business, six candidates expressed interest in the school board position vacated by Area 3 director Jeni Quimby at the conclusion of the January regular school board meeting.

Matt Schneider, Kate Lewandowski, Susan Quamme, Laurie Freund, Dori Farrey and Phillip Neidner presented letter of interest to the board.

With the exception of Neidner, all candidates were present during the board meeting and the board voted 4-2 to appoint Quamme to fill the Area 3 director position.

“I have been very fortunate in my professional career to develop skills associated with working with children and families, but I have also had multiple opportunities to foster leadership skills, management skills and gain great insight into financial management. I feel my education and professional experience have prepared me to be an effective board member,” Quamme stated in her letter of intent to the board.

In other business, the board:

-- Approved the Jan. 14 regular board meeting minutes.

-- With the exception of an abstaining vote by Area 1 Director Karen Stangler, approved the Feb. 4 special board meeting minutes.

-- Heard book trailer presentations from Jens Novak and Jack Zbikowski, Waterloo Middle School students in Jessica Leonard’s historical literature class.

-- Acknowledged a $7,750 Personal Electronic Computing Device Grant for the 2018-19 Waterloo School District school year.

The $7,750 is based on the September 2018 Waterloo High School ninth-grade student count of 62 students.

A district matching fund enables the funding to be used toward costs involved with cellular device service plans, computers, servers, network infrastructure and management systems.

The funding may be used for all students in the Waterloo School District and will be available through the 2022-23 school year.

-- Acknowledged a $3,000 Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin Act Now Grant.

The grant money will be split between the elementary and intermediate/middle school and will be used toward the purchase of Zones of Regulation materials, book purchases of “Conscious Discipline: Building Resilient Classrooms” by Becky Bailey for a teacher book study and resources for the creation of “calming corners” in classrooms. The “calming corners” will be established for students to take breaks to calm themselves without having to leave the classroom for extended periods of time.

-- Acknowledged the establishment of the Fred and Wanda Kuhle agriculture scholarship.

Two $1,000 scholarships will be awarded each year to students studying in the field of agriculture.

-- Approved the representative appointment of Lynda Fourrier to the Stremmer Scholarship Committee. Fourrier has served as the committee representative since 1999.

-- With the exception of a no vote by Thompson, approved April 19 and June 3 and 4 as inclement weather makeup days for the Waterloo School District.

As of Monday’s regular school board meeting, five days of school have been canceled due to inclement weather.

By making up three days, the district is still within the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction standards for the required minutes of instruction for the 2018-19 school year.

-- With the exception of a no vote by Thompson, approved the 2019-20 Waterloo School District calendar.

The first day of school will be Sept. 3, the last day of school will be June 5, 2020, and graduation will be held on June 7, 2020.

All school board members were present and the next regular meeting will be held March 11 at 6:30 p.m. in the high school library.