Patrick Marsh Middle School

Patrick Marsh Middle School (above) and Prairie View Middle School will each receive upgrades this summer in their technology education areas so the middle schools are comparable to Central Heights Middle School when it opens in 2022.

The Sun Prairie School Board approved a more than $400,000 increase in cost to renovate technology education (tech ed) areas at Patrick Marsh and Prairie View middle schools on Monday, May 10.

The reason is so that students at each of the district’s three middle schools (including Central Heights in the fall of 2022) will have the same tech ed amenities, according to a memo to the board from Sun Prairie Area School District Director of Facilities and Grounds Kevin Sukow.

In April 2019, SPASD voters approved two referendum questions to allow multiple construction projects. A total of $3,500,144 was budgeted for capital maintenance items at Patrick Marsh and Prairie View Middle Schools to perform system replacement/upgrades and renovations to support a transition back to housing 6th-8th grade students.

As part of its design efforts to support the 2019 referendum, Bray Architects provided design services to renovate the technology education areas at Patrick Marsh (PMMS) and Prairie View Middle School (PVMS) to make them equitable to the new spaces being designed at Central Heights Middle School (CHMS).

The new spaces at CHMS are necessary due to the relocation of Prairie Phoenix Academy to the area that technology and agriculture education currently use at the Cardinal Heights building.

J.H. Findorff is being used as SPASD’s construction manager for work associated with the proposed 2019 referendum, according to Sukow.

“At the time the budget for the referendum was developed, the work had a much smaller scope, mainly consisting of removing a wall and adding a small dust collector to the space,” Sukow wrote in the memo.

Due to the desire to maintain equity with the design of the CHMS spaces, it was decided to evaluate all of the tech ed spaces at the two existing middle schools and determine what would be needed to provide the same amenities at all three buildings.

The proposal for the technology education renovations at PMMS and PVMS will cost $799,998 —including renovations to electrical systems, heating ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems, flooring and painting, as well as the addition of an air compressor and an upsized dust collector and ducting to mirror the space at CHMS.

The amount budgeted for in the referendum was $390,202, Sukow wrote, but the difference between the actual and budgeted amount will be accounted for in a reduction to the roofing scope, which is supported by the most recent IRS Roof Survey, as well as from project savings on the masonry/flashing repairs and the boiler replacement projects at both schools.

A district-held contingency of 5% will be used to fix existing conditions not included in the scope of the renovation project, Sukow said, but which are necessary to complete the project or to cover design changes that arise during completion of the project. The contingency for this project will be $40,000.

Both the PMMS and PVMS technology education areas renovation project is being funded by Fund 49 dollars from the 2019 Referendum because the areas were identified as part of the capital maintenance projects at each school.

“The $799,998 is $409,796 over the initial budget for the project, but is identified as needed to provide similar areas at all three middle schools providing the same curriculum,” Sukow wrote. “Savings from other project areas dedicated to PMMS and PVMS capital maintenance will be utilized to fund the difference.”

Board members approved a bid from Findorff to complete all work associated with the technology education area renovations at Patrick Marsh and Prairie View Middle Schools at a cost not to exceed $839,998, which includes a SPASD-held contingency of $40,000.

In a related item, the board also approved a change in the Guaranteed Maximum Price for CHMS. Sukow and Construction Manager Paul Korz wrote in a memo to the board that the project initially included reconfiguring Cardinal Heights Upper Middle School to serve 6th-8th grades as Central Heights Middle School, move Prairie Phoenix Academy (PPA) to a separate and dedicated space within the building, and provide a professional development space.

The total overall budget for the Central Heights Middle School/Prairie Phoenix Academy/Professional Learning Center (CHMS/PPA/PLC) project was set at $8,574,952, which included construction, design and owner costs. The portion for construction management was estimated to be $7,481,917.

But an additional $4,124,480 was also dedicated to capital maintenance projects at the building, with $1,080,551 budgeted for projects to be completed in conjunction with the renovation project.

“During the referendum process, the district also created an employee wellness clinic partnership with Dean Care/SSM Health,” the memo reads. “It was determined that the physical space for the clinic would be included in the CHMS/PPA/PLC building. However, this project was not included in the referendum and will be funded separately. The total costs for renovations to create the wellness clinic are $483,380, of which $410,773 are costs for the construction. The costs for both the capital maintenance projects and the wellness clinic are included in the GMP Amendment.”

Based on the combined recommendation from Sukow and Korz, the board approved a Guaranteed Maximum Price Amendment to amend the contract with J.H. Findorff & Son Inc. to set the contract sum for the Central Heights Middle School, Prairie Phoenix Academy, and Professional Learning Center building renovations project to $7,901,734, subject to any SPASD change orders.

Watch the screencast video for the PMMS and PVMS tech ed area renovations with the online version of this story at

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