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Although the design process is not complete and Mukwonago Area School District officials will review cost estimates on Nov. 22, the school board got a look at preliminary renderings on Nov. 14 of improvements planned for Mukwonago High School following the passing of a $49.5 million referendum in April.

A photo of a packed orchestra room at MHS, taken earlier that day, started MASD Superintendent Shawn McNulty's presentation to the school board.

"This is a good reminder of why we're doing this in the first place," said McNulty. "Many of the classrooms and educational spaces were built for fewer students."

Built for 915 students in 1972, MHS now houses more than 1,600 students.

Traffic flow

With the first phase of construction underway, parking lots south and east of the high school are being expanded to accommodate a change in traffic flow once work on the north drive turnaround starts in January 2017. Traffic patterns will be separated between faculty and buses, parent traffic and student traffic as part of the improvements.

"A big part of the project it to improve traffic flow," McNulty said.

As crews lay out curb and gutter for the expanded parking lots, the first layer of asphalt has been put down on the new tennis courts west of Hensler Field. Courts can't be color surfaced until temperatures are 50 degrees or higher for multiple days, according to Curt Wiebelhaus, district buildings and grounds supervisor.

Curb appeal

According to the timeline for the project, work on the north entrance along Highway NN will begin in January. Work on the auditorium is set to begin in March with anticipated completion in December 2017, although Wiebelhaus thinks it's more likely the auditorium phase might not be complete until January 2018.

A preliminary rendering of the new entrance and performing arts center at MHS showed more "curb appeal," McNulty pointed out.

Improvements on the first floor will include new space for the Jo to Go coffee shop and art gallery to display student work, McNulty said. The cafeteria "will be a vast improvement" over the present cafeteria, providing more space and more natural light, according to McNulty.

Work on the addition to the gym is scheduled to begin in May with anticipated completion about a year later, hopefully in time for graduation.

Welcoming environment

The new library will provide "a vastly different space where students will want to go," McNulty explained.

Private study rooms for individuals or small groups will have glass to make supervision possible.

"I think this will be a much more welcoming place for our kids," McNulty said. "A place where they will want to go and study. A place where they will want to go and work."

Second floor improvements include wider halls and natural light from skylights.

Visit the MASD website under the district tab, referendum updates for more information.

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