We want to share an update on the geothermal construction projects at Jefferson and Washington-Kosciusko Elementary schools.
The projects have progressed as planned over the summer, and school will begin on time as noted in the 2023-24 School Calendar.
Parent-teacher conferences will be held on Thursday, Aug. 31 and Tuesday, Sept. 5 (a message about signing up for conferences is coming later this week). The first day of school for students in Grades K-4 and the Community KIDS Preschool program will be Wednesday, Sept. 6.
There will be some visible work going on outside the buildings for the remainder of the month. Additional work will continue throughout the school year, but this will be limited to non-student areas and will not be disruptive to student learning.
For the most part, it will be business as usual inside Jefferson and W-K this school year with one major difference: The classrooms will have a ceiling grid, but there will not be any ceiling tiles.
Construction crews will need to access these areas next summer, so to save money and time, the decision was made not to install ceiling tiles only to remove them less than a year later. There is no safety hazard by having these areas exposed, but it will look a little different than normal.
There could be opportunities at the end of the school year for classrooms to leave a class picture in the ceiling, or perhaps write their names up there — like a time capsule, or a message to the next generation that makes repairs to the building — before crews replace the ceiling tiles.
Once the school year begins, there will be no construction that disrupts student learning. Some work may be ongoing in non-student areas in the basement of each building. Construction will resume next summer.
The geothermal dehumidification systems are expected to be operational for the 2024-25 school year. The previous method for heating Jefferson and W-K will be in place for one more school year.
We are excited about what these changes will do for the learning environments in both Jefferson and W-K. Thank you for your patience and cooperation throughout this process.
Winona Area Public Schools