The theme of the Prior Lake-Savage Area School Board regular meeting on Feb. 12 was construction.

After the successful referendum in November, the board is working through design plans for school renovations and projects to put the referendum money into motion.

The board approved design plans Feb. 12 for the existing elementary schools, including Five Hawks, Glendale, Jeffers Pond and Redtail Ridge.

“This is the work we’ve been quickly engaged on as part of our referendum,” Assistant Superintendent Jeff Holmberg said.

The design at Five Hawks includes a lower level kindergarten classroom remodeling, new windows and corridors, a new special education room and a restroom off the media center. A special education center would also be added to Glendale. Two additional kindergarten classrooms would be constructed at both Jeffers Pond and Redtail Ridge schools.

One focus of the remodeling projects is allowing sunlight into the classroom, Holmberg said.

“There’s a lot of research around having access to daylight,” Holmberg said. “We’re adding more windows to the outside to bring more sunlight in by creating a storefront approach to these classrooms.”

At Edgewood, plans are in place to create a new kitchen and cafeteria area connected to WestWood, serving both schools. There would also be two spaces converted into kindergarten rooms as well as added volunteer and staff room remodel and student breakout and resource areas.

At WestWood, multi-purpose rooms would be remodeled into kindergarten classrooms, the cafeteria would be remodeled into a student resource area, special education and English language learner spaces.

The referendum also provides the funds for a large ticket item: the construction of an additional elementary school. However, the design plan for the new elementary is not done yet and so was not approved by the board Monday.

On the middle school side, Hidden Oaks would receive six additional classrooms, a multi-purpose rooms, a remodeled special education space, an expanded cafeteria, an expanded parking lot and a new physical education classroom, under remodeling plans. For Twin Oaks, 10 additional classrooms and five special education rooms would be built as well as health classrooms, an expanded kitchen, a remodeled auditorium lobby and adding 115 seats to the auditorium.

At Prior Lake High School, 30 classrooms and a special education space will be added as well as an expanded kitchen, two new physical education classrooms, an elevated four-lane running track and a new west parking lot. A new Bridges Area Learning Center with an 135 student capacity would also be constructed with the funds.

The total cost of the project is estimated to be $110.5 million with $109.3 million coming from the bond referendum and $1 million in interest earnings.

The board also approved bids for roofing projects for several schools in the district. The low bid was from Schwickerts/Tecta America. The cost will be $385,592 for Grainwood Elementary, $403,025 for Five Hawks Elementary and $10,000 for Glendale Elementary.

Maggie Stanwood was born and raised in small-town Iowa before moving to Wyoming in middle school. After her brief stint in the Wild West, she attended the University of Missouri - Columbia, where she graduated in May 2017 with a Bachelors in Journalism.