Tags: Geneva Lake West
April 22, 2014 | 11:53 AMWILLIAMS BAY — If the Williams Bay School District gets voter permission to build a new elementary school, the village of Williams Bay may have interest in the old elementary school building.
At the Williams Bay Village Board’s committee of the whole meeting on April 16, trustees discussed whether the village should continue a study of whether the elementary school building would make a good community center.
While a preliminary plan showing a partial demolition and renovations to the old building was offered to trustees, there were no cost estimates.
Doug Snyder, village engineer with Baxter & Woodman, Burlington, said he thought the building still has the potential for a useful life.
“There’s a lot of space in this building and I don’t see why it can’t be reused,” he told the trustees.
Snyder said he walked through the elementary school’s cafeteria and gymnasium to evaluate the condition of those two areas.
He said he believes the building could be a good community center.
There are issues with lead and asbestos, but those could be dealt with, he told trustees.
“The structure appears to be sound,” he said.
Snyder is proposing a partial demolition of the school.
New parking would have to be built, along with new connections for sewer and water. But the connections for the utilities are there.
The electrical system will probably have to be updated, Snyder said.
About 5,000 square feet of the building would be remodeled, modernized and retained.
However, Snyder said he saw no issues with the roof or walls.
Trustee James Killian, who has some experience in construction, called the gym’s electrical system a “hodge podge.”
“It’s almost an extension cord arrangement in that gymnasium,” he said.
Four years ago, Kehoe-Henry Associates, Elkhorn, came up with a study that indicated it would cost about $8.5 million to do basic maintenance on the building and bring it to code.
Killian said the past four years probably added 15 to 20 percent to that figure, however, if the village knocked down the parts of the building it doesn’t need, that might adjust the costs.
Trustee Bill Duncan said a good figure might be a cost comparison between building new and salvaging the school.
Village President John Marra said the village should continue to study possible uses of the building, should it become available.
“I think it deserves some good in-depth study and numbers,” he said.