Tripp-Delmont embarks on $1.9 million school additionTRIPP — The Tripp-Delmont School District is embarking on a roughly $1.9 million addition that will add classrooms and create a couple of joint areas for the community.
By: Melanie Brandert, The Daily Republic
TRIPP — The Tripp-Delmont School District is embarking on a roughly $1.9 million addition that will add classrooms and create a couple of joint areas for the community.
The project includes four new classrooms for kindergarten to third grade, a new kitchen, a commons area with a capacity of about 100, a wellness center and a community-school library, Superintendent Lynn Vlasman said.
Other amenities include new locker rooms on the south side of the gym and larger, handicap-accessible restrooms to accommodate those in wheelchairs.
A large portion of the 13,000-square-foot project — $1.3 million — will be funded by a donation from the late Helmuth Hoff, a Tripp native and physician who lived in Lodi, Calif. He also contributed money to help the district give $3,000 to $5,000 in scholarships per year.
“He wanted to see this addition serve not only the school, but the community as well,” Vlasman said.
The district learned of Hoff’s gift several years ago. He had established a building committee made up of two school board members, two Tripp residents and a former state lawmaker that met several times with school officials. Hoff died in October 2006.
Tripp Mayor Ed Rembold, who has been in office for nine months, served on the committee. He noted the city has a small library.
“If we can combine resources, it will be a definite improvement,” Rembold said.
The school board authorized the use of capital outlay certificates not to exceed $600,000 to pay for the rest of the project. That will mean less than a 20-cent increase per $1,000 of valuation in the capital outlay levy, and the owner of a $50,000 house will see a $10 annual increase in property taxes, Vlasman said.
Older locker rooms and the kitchen will be renovated to pave the way for the wellness center and the library.
The school already has free weights and some other equipment. It would add elliptical machines and treadmills for the public to use.
“The fitness center and the library will help tie the community back to the school,” Vlasman said. “It will be a positive thing.”
As for the new classrooms, Tripp-Delmont has been using a modular unit for second and third grades and renting a building from the city located a half block from the school for kindergarten and first-grade classes, said Verlin Buchholz, school board president.
The school district was forced into that situation after it had to close Delmont Elementary School, which housed all K-4 students, in 2006 for structural reasons, Buchholz said. There was insufficient room to house lower elementary grades in the Tripp School, which had grades five to 12 until 2006.
After the new building is erected, the city will get its building back, he said.
Vlasman said the new classrooms are needed to bring students into one building and be governed by the same alarm system for emergencies or inclement weather.
He anticipates the public could use the commons area for meetings, along with the school board.
The city council has yet to discuss how much the city will contribute toward the project, Rembold said. He anticipates the issue will be addressed in the next few months.
A schedule for the library also needs to be determined and when school and city personnel would provide staff for it, Vlasman said.
“For supervision and access, we want to make it as open as possible,” he said.
Bids for the project are being sought now, with bids to be opened on March 3. Construction will start in mid-April, with the bulk of the work done by Christmas break in December.