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On November 6, 2018, a $19.3 million bond referendum was approved with 63% of the votes for building improvements and a small addition at the Waterville-Elysian-Morristown schools. Get the updates about ongoing construction projects related to the referendum below or visit the Referendum page for historical information and other details that led up to the construction and made it possible.
Completed Projects


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.


Bids for the Waterville-Elysian-Morristown Public Schools Bid Package #1 - Mechanical Equipment were opened. At the regular monthly meeting, the school board approved the lowest qualified and responsible bid as presented by Schwab, Vollhaber, Lubratt, Inc. (SVL) based in Roseville, MN for Base Bid C complete construction package (combined Base Bids A for Waterville additions and alterations and Base Bid B for Morristown additions and alterations) in the amount of $844,890.00 contingent upon a successful contract pre-award interview.


R. A. Morton and HEI issued drawings and specifications for the complete construction package.

MARCH 2020

Potential contractors did a pre-bid walk-through for asbestos abatement at the high school.

MAY 2020
  • The following are projects were completed or in progress:
  • Ground was broken on the new elementary addition on May 4
  • In Waterville, trees have been removed for the construction of a new student drop-off on the east side of the building and for the new addition on the north side of the elementary
  • In both buildings, asbestos abatement occurred in the tunnels
  • Vinyl floors and ceiling tiles were removed
  • Demolition occurred in Waterville for the renovation of elementary classrooms and the installation of new unit vents
  • In Morristown, the cement floor in the woodshop has been jackhammered out for the installation of new sewer and water lines


New addition area
  • The remainder of the footings and piers are being poured today
  • The masons are starting block tomorrow for the below-grade foundation walls and some misc. blockwork inside the building
  • The excavators will backfill the foundation walls Friday or Monday, and dig footings for the new entrance canopy on the east end of area A
  • The iron workers will be onsite Monday or Tuesday to start erecting the structural steel and bar joist and decking

Existing building remodel
  • Classroom painting in area B will be complete this week
  • Acoustical ceiling to begin in area B on Wednesday or Thursday
  • Prep to begin in the new administration area (Mr. Boran's office) by mid-week, to raise up and pour the floor
  • Rocking and taping in area A is awaiting the rainwater leader installation and testing before they can finish up
  • Painting in the existing elementary office area to start Thursday or Friday
  • Pour the bathroom floors by Friday
  • Plumbing and electrical rough-ins are ongoing

Tentative Project Schedule

WEM is working with R. A. Morton Construction Managers and Architects Rego & Youngquist (ARY) and Hallberg Engineering (HEI). R. A. 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. 


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


The Elementary classroom addition in Waterville will be completed.


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.

Strong Schools = Strong Communities
Perspective drawing of front of the new elementary school entrance from Architects Rego + Youngquist
Perspective drawing of front of the new elementary school entrance from Architects Rego + Youngquist
Perspective drawing of the new elementary school entrance from Architects Rego + Youngquist
Perspective drawing of the new elementary school entrance from Architects Rego + Youngquist

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!

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.


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.
How will the money be spent? 49% HVAC and electrical, 38% Academics, 9% Safety and Security, 4% ADA code compliance
Read more about how the money will be spent in the Referendum Guide.

About Us
The Mission of the Waterville-Elysian-Morristown School District is to inspire everyone who enters to achieve academic, social, and personal skills to become career, college, and community ready.
WEM ISD #2143
500 East Paquin Street
Waterville, MN 56096

507-362-4432 District Office
507-362-4439 Elementary Office
507-362-4431 High School Office
507-685-4222 Middle School Office (Morristown)
507-362-4403 Community Ed / Athletics

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