The Ladysmith School Board voted 6-0, at its July meeting, to hire a construction management firm to conduct a facility update study for the district.

Kraus-Anderson was selected over two other firms, Nexus Solutions and SitelogIQ. Nexus recently helped with the Miner Avenue school conversion and also completed a facility study for the district. Kraus-Anderson and SiteLogIQ have not done prior work for the district, which some board members believed could result in added expenses due to starting a study from scratch.

With work already completed on converting the Miner Avenue school into an elementary facility, the board is now turning its attention to improving Ladysmith Middle & High School on Edgewood Avenue.

The hiring was tabled last month after the board debated possible “green” energy saving measures that each might include in any project.

While Nexus already has done work for the district, school officials also have previous positive experience at neighboring districts with Kraus-Anderson. School officials are weighing the benefits of a firm that has worked for the Ladysmith School District and a firm that incoming new administration has worked with successfully elsewhere.

A committee reviewing the firms’ proposals unanimously recommended Kraus-Anderson.

Board member Jeff Wallin said he did not see much difference between the companies on their “green” energy saving measures.

Board members also asked for a list of referendums each firm has helped lead in the state as it considers a possible future referendums on exceeding the state mandated revenue limit and funding any construction.

An expedited strategic planning process is projected to take 3 months. It will be another 3 months after that to launch a referendum committee.

The board is considering referendums for fall 2021. At that time, the board will be closer to paying off past referendum debt. The new referendum debt could be taken on as the old debt is paid off with little or no tax impact anticipated.

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