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With construction set to begin on the Mukwonago High School performing arts center, parents are dealing with a new driving pattern when dropping students off, as of March 3, and students will see far fewer parking permits available with dozens of student parking spots lost to construction.

The east end of the drive in front of the high school will be closed, according to a map on the Mukwonago Area School District website. Traffic will be routed in and out of the Highway NN entrance west of stoplight by Fairwinds subdivision, looping around in front of the school for parent drop off. Only right turns will be allowed when exiting.

According to the district website, there are a limited number of parking stickers available for the rest of the school year and those will go to seniors first in lottery system.

Construction on parking areas east of the high school began in the fall, helping to set the stage for the next phase of the $49.5 million renovation project at MHS approved by referendum in April 2016.

A March 9 groundbreaking officially kicks off the much anticipated work for the new performing arts center, with completion projected for December 2017.

Work starting in March also will include music classrooms and the main office. The renovation of about 12 classrooms on the second floor will begin in March as well. 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.

According to the district newsletter, the Triad, students and staff might experience some inconvenience, but the firm handling the project, CG Schmidt, has much experience in high school projects such as the one at MHS and uses methods to reduce the disruption during the school day, such as having construction take place after school hours.

During the summer, work on the library and the rest of the second floor classrooms will take place, with completion of these areas projected for spring of 2018. Work on the MHS cafeteria, is set to begin after that with the entire project projected for completion by the end of 2018.

When complete, the project will bring the high school, which was built in 1972 for more than 900 students, up to date providing space for a current student population of more than 1,600.

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