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Sunset School closure a possibility

Closing Sunset Elementary School is one idea being discussed as Sturgeon Bay School District takes a long look at its facilities plan. The Sturgeon Bay School Board received a summary of the findings from recent assessments performed by Eppstein Uhen Architects and Miron Construction. The studies looked at how the district can improve its safety and security, building components and systems, educational flexibility, and operational efficiency and building utilization. Standing out in the report is a laundry list of improvements needed at both Sunrise and Sunset Elementary Schools, which are the district’s oldest buildings. In a press release from the school district, EUA principal and Sturgeon Bay alumnus Eric Dufek said, “based on the current capacity and anticipated enrollment trends, the district has an opportunity to realize operational efficiencies and other savings by closing Sunset Elementary School.”

 

The full report is expected to be available sometime in August. District residents will be able to weigh in with their thoughts via a community-wide survey that will be mailed in September. You can read the full release from District Superintendent Dan Tjernagel below:

 

On Wednesday, July 17, 2019 at a School District of Sturgeon Bay Board of Education
meeting, the School Board received a summary of findings of a recent assessment of all district facilities. The District engaged Eppstein Uhen Architects (EUA) in February 2019 and Miron Construction in May to complete this assessment and support the District with long?range master planning for its facilities. The Facilities Assessment includes an architectural review of building conditions; evaluation of mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems; review of ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) accessibility, safety and security. In addition, a capacity and utilization study was conducted to evaluate how space is used, and a separate review specifically focused on how the District’s learning environments support today’s instructional practices. The full report, as well as the summary presentation, will be posted to the District website (www.sturbay.k12.wi.us) soon under a new District Facility Study tab on the District page. A hard copy of the report will be available for public review in the District Office sometime in August after the District receives it.


The findings of the assessment include needs in four categories: safety and security, building components and systems, educational flexibility, operational efficiency and building utilization. The report indicates that while the District’s facilities are well?maintained for their age, many of the systems and components, such as mechanical and plumbing systems, windows and roofing are in need of replacement. These needs are greatest at Sunrise & Sunset schools which are the District’s oldest buildings. In addition, the study found various accessibility issues across the district for those with mobility impairments.


The capacity and utilization study found all of the District’s buildings currently under student capacity. The study also noted that the tech ed, family and consumer education, and library spaces are outdated for modern use and that schools throughout the district lack flexible and small-group learning spaces to support current and future programming for students at all grade levels.


Following the presentation of a summary of the facilities study findings, Eric Dufek, EUA Principal and Sturgeon Bay alumnus, presented two potential long?term solutions and two alternative ideas to the challenges described in the report. “Based on the current capacity and anticipated enrollment trends, the district has an opportunity to realize operational efficiencies and other savings by closing Sunset Elementary School.”


“Next steps will be to allow the School Board to digest the completed study once available, as well as share findings with and gather feedback from the community so that we can identify the highest priorities of our stakeholders in order to assemble a long?term plan” said Superintendent Dan Tjernagel. District residents will have the opportunity to share feedback via a community?wide survey that will be mailed to all households in early September.
 

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