HLWW middle school: renovate current building or build new?

For an active poll on what to do with the HLWW Middle School, click here.

As the opportunity for voters to voice their opinions on the future of the Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted Middle school approaches Nov. 4, the school board is working to educate the public on the issues.

To sum up the issues, the HLWW middle school is in need of many expensive repairs, that would cost a minimum of 7.1 million dollars. These repairs are needed due to the aging building which approaches 80-years-old, with the most expensive updates relating to poor air quality, heating and cooling systems, plumbing, energy management and ventilation.

The district is able to acquire the funds for these repairs without voter approval, but because the cost of building a new middle school would be approximately the same as the cost of renovations, and is viewed to be a better financial investment, the school board is asking voters: Should the middle school be updated, or should a new middle school be built, which would be attached to the new HLWW high school.

Both options would have a tax impact on local residents.

Simply put, voting “yes” on the ballot Nov. 4 will mean that a new middle school will be built and added on to the HLWW high school. Voting “no” will mean that funds will be invested into the current middle school.

For more information on the issues, read the article “Future of HLWW middle school is up to voters, Nov. 4″, on the front cover of this week’s issue of the Herald journal.


  1. HikingStick says:

    At this point, it seems that voters are faced with a choice: allocate funds to build a new middle school structure in the near term, or wait for the district to decide when health and safety funds will be tapped to repair the current structure. If we’re going to see the hit on our taxes one way or another (since the health and safety funds–if my understanding is correct–come through state coffers and taxes), then I’d rather see the funds invested in a new structure, even through the individual property owner’s share of the hit from the health and safety funds may well be less than that of a direct levy.

    If I accept that building a new middle school is a preferred course of action, then there is a new set of questions must be considered:

    1) What will happen to the current middle school building?
    2) If there are hopes of eventually converting it into a Howard Lake elementary school (by eliminating the central, two-story portion of the structure), how will that transition be funded?
    3) If additional funds would be needed for that transition, when would that levy be proposed?
    4) Since construction costs will likely only increase as the years go on, why are we not adding funds for the conversion to the middle school levy proposal.

  2. Tom says:

    In the latest article on the HLWW middle school. Board member Dan Schaible stated with reagard to the current
    middle school boiler, “If the boiler went out we would
    have no place to go”. The main issue seems to be the
    heating and cooling system in the existing middle school.
    We are also told that if we build a new middle school by
    the new high school then the plan is to tear down the old
    middle school but leave the Humphery Gym and the building
    on the south side of the middle school. Nice plan but what
    about that same boiler doesn’t that run the parts of the
    building that are left standing? And if so why would we
    build a new middle school for $7 million and leave the Humphery Gym and southern part of the old building with the old boiler?
    Someone is not telling the whole story.

  3. two detours a day says:

    from what I understand is that if the new building vote fails than no new middle school. I went to the meeting that they held at the high school,and they said if it fails thats it. they will not spend 7 million on the old building. they said the state would not allow that because they could build a new school for 1 million more unless we as tax payers would vote to save the building but than we would need a 60% passing rate and than the school board could probably spend what ever they wanted now that is a scary thought huh?

  4. two detours a day says:

    also if the new building passes and when they tear down the old part than they could put in a small boiler that would not cost so much and they never talked about air conditioning just air quality standards that need to be improved if the new building fails.