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Elementary School Construction Theme
Teachers and students at WEM Elementary School are embracing the construction theme in the 2019-20 school year as their facilities undergo changes. Doors, hallways, and classrooms are filled with construction-themed decorations, photos, and art created by the students. There are hard hats, reflective vests, tools and toolboxes, yellow caution tapes, big trucks, and orange cones.

Teachers lined the sidewalks on the first day of school wearing construction-themed shirts to welcome students. The improvements are exciting, and everyone is getting in on the fun!











Tennis Balls and Rug Donations, Fall 2019
Soon after the asbestos abatement, the 2019-20 school year began with bare cement floors in many of the Elementary School classrooms awaiting further remodeling. Ms. Lamont, Physical Education Teacher and Coach, organized an effort to collect donations of tennis balls to put on the feet of classroom chairs, carpet squares, and rugs to help students have a softer, quieter, and better learning environment for their school year.

Donations rolled in quickly from kind students, parents, staff, and others. An organization called Keys for Kids donated 500 recycled tennis balls. Keys for Kids is a non-profit organization based in Minnetonka. Bisek Interiors of Montgomery donated carpet remnants that were very helpful.

At WEM, we are so grateful to all individuals, families, organizations, and businesses who donated or helped spread the word. We have a generous community. These temporary situations will all be worth it in the end when our students will enjoy the updated education facilities.
Asbestos Abatement, Summer 2019
According to the Minnesota Department of Health, asbestos can be found in many common school building materials, including floor tiles, linoleum, pipe insulation, ceiling tiles, and wall plaster. Undisturbed asbestos-containing materials (ACM) generally do not pose a health risk. However, when these materials are disturbed, such as during remodeling projects, they release asbestos fibers into the air, which poses serious health risks. That is why professional asbestos removal was an essential first step to WEM's facility improvement projects.

Immediately after the completion of the 2018-19 school year, WEM teachers and other staff members worked quickly to strip several Elementary School classrooms from floor to ceiling, wall to wall. They boxed and wrapped everything safely, loaded it on pallets, labeled it for fall, and finally put everything into storage areas within the building in preparation for professional asbestos abatement.

The affected areas were sealed off, and asbestos was removed during summer break. The work stayed mostly on schedule and was completed shortly before the start of the 2019-20 school year. This kicked off the facility improvements and got these areas ready for other updates and construction yet to come.
Completed Projects
SUMMER OF 2019
The abatement of asbestos-containing materials was completed in preparation for remodeling activity in the elementary classrooms.
The project design/construction team:
- completed the post-referendum facility assessment
- met with District staff to review and refine the project objectives
- reviewed the class configuration and confirmed the current arrangement for moving forward with project design
- met with the State of Minnesota building officials to review the proposed designs and code compliance

Big thanks to Dave Volkman and Rich Rients from Volkman Electric for their help on this project!

FALL OF 2019
Ms. Lamont, Physical Education Teacher and Coach, organized an effort to collect donations of tennis balls to put on the feet of classroom chairs, carpet squares, and rugs to help students have a softer, quieter, and better learning environment for their school year.

WEM received a grant for $2,410 from SFM Mutual Insurance Company, the provider of workers’ compensation for the school system, for floormats at the school entrances.

Over MEA weekend, the custodians placed insulation in the gaps at the top of the walls between the Waterville Elementary classrooms to serve as a sound barrier.
TENTATIVE PROJECT SCHEDULE
WEM is working with RA Morton Construction Managers and Architects Rego & Youngquist (ARY) and Hallberg Engineering (HEI). RA Morton specializes in school district projects, including new, addition, and/or renovating existing facilities that entail tight budgets and timelines. They are based in St. Cloud, MN. ARY also specializes in schools and is based in St. Louis Park, MN. HEI has decades of experience and is based in White Bear Lake.

DECEMBER 2019
R. A. Morton and HEI will issue drawings and specifications for the mechanical equipment package. Bids will be due for the mechanical equipment package, and the school board will approve at the regular meeting.

JANUARY 2020
R. A. Morton and HEI will issue drawings and specifications for the complete construction package.

FEBRUARY 2020
Bids will be due for the complete construction package, and the school board will approve at a special meeting.
The bid format will be:
Base bid A – Waterville additions and alterations
Base bid B – Morristown additions and alterations
Base bid C – Combined projects including all work at Waterville and Morristown

MAY 2020
The Elementary classroom addition in Waterville will start.

SUMMER OF 2020
Mechanical upgrades and remodeling in Morristown will start and be completed.
Mechanical upgrades and remodeling in Waterville will start.

LATE WINTER/EARLY SPRING 2021
The Elementary classroom addition in Waterville will be completed.

SUMMER OF 2021
Mechanical upgrades and remodeling in Waterville will be completed.

More detail of timing and sequencing will be developed as the plans evolve, and this will be shared as soon as it is available.