Madison School Board considers upgrades to high schools

MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) -- The Madison Metropolitan School District presented a report Monday night to the School Board detailing facilities needs at East, West, La Follette and Memorial High Schools.

These needs range from improving heating and cooling systems and energy efficiency to upgrading fine arts and athletic facilities. Plans for upgrades are in the very early stages, but early cost estimates could be between $120 and $280 million.

Executive Director of Building Services Chad Wiese said one reason these upgrades are needed is how old the high schools are.

"Our buildings on average, our four high schools, are on average, over 70 years old, so East is approaching 100 years old and West is close behind, and when you have physical plans that are approaching a century, they take some TLC to keep them up to the standards that we expect in this community," Wiese said.

Wiese added that all four high schools are overdue for a renovation.

"It's been a while since we've had a major reinvestment in all four of these sites. The last time we really put money in a thoughtful way that wasn't just fix what's broken at the site was in the 70s," he said.

The board gave the school district the green light to continue working on potential projects.

Wiese said the next step is to get community, staff and student input on their plans. This will help flesh out details for projects that could appear on the ballot in Nov. 2020.