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Elmbrook School District approves concession stand and restroom pavilion for Brookfield Central High

April 30, 2014

Brookfield Central High School will get its long-awaited concession stand and restroom pavilion, even if it will cost the Elmbrook School District a little more than originally estimated.

The Elmbrook School Board approved awarding a maximum of $356,139 to the pavilion project at a meeting Tuesday, April 29.

The original cost estimate for the building, and its utilities, stood at $420,000 earlier this year, but bids received in April listed the cost closer to $570,000 — a $150,000 difference.

Central4ward, a parent-led capital campaign for athletic facility improvements, committed to paying two-thirds of the estimated cost for just the pavilion building. The group set a fundraising goal of $213,000 and has since exceeded that amount by $7,000, including about $15,000 in in-kind donations.

Due to the more costly bids, however, Central4Ward would not be able to raise enough of the money in time for the pavilion to be ready by August, when the high school celebrates its 50th anniversary.

The high school currently uses portable toilets at its outdoor school events.

Board to chip in

The school board decided to contribute the additional $150,000 to see the project through.

"I'm as disappointed as anybody that the numbers from our original budget, which we had a great deal of faith in, (varied) to where we ended up," said Tom Knopp, chairman of Central4ward. " … but we'll work with Erik (Kass) throughout the process to do what we can to drive the cost down, so, with any luck, you won't be bumping against your ceiling number (of $356,139)."

Erik Kass, district assistant superintendent for finance, operations and human resources, said Central4ward will continue to fundraise for the project.

"If they can raise more money, then they'll provide that to the district to drive down that ($356,139)," Kass said.

Other potential savings

The board did not discuss utilities for the pavilion in-depth at the meeting because bids for the work were not yet available.

The district will consider "the best cost-effective utilities" for the pavilion once the bids are received by Friday, May 2, Kass said.

The district will look at options for gas heat and electricity in the pavilion.

Staff will consider the options at a Finance and Operations Committee meeting on Monday, May 12, before making a recommendation to the board on Tuesday, May 13.

"The $356,139 is bigger than we expected, but we are still working to drive that down as best as we can," Kass said. "Where we sit today is higher than we'll be, but I didn't want to put a number out there that showed the cost savings because I don't know what they are yet."

The board received some applause after making a motion to approve the maximum amount of $356,139 to begin construction on the pavilion.

"I'm fully in support of this project," board vice president Meg Wartman said. "I think this is a project that's long overdue … and now is the time to have regular bathrooms and running water out there."

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