COVID-related shortages hit Wisconsin Rapids school renovations

WISCONSIN RAPIDS, Wis. (WAOW) – Renovation work on an area high school, approved in a $ 44 million referendum by voters last spring and due to begin in October, has been postponed until March.

Officials at Lincoln High School in Wisconsin Rapids said they have been eager to see the expansion ahead since voters approved it. However, due to COVID-19 related shortages, these plans are now on hold.

The main reason: a shortage of steel. Where Miron Construction said it can usually get what it needs in 12-14 weeks, it now takes around 30.

But school officials say they’re not worried.

“We are not in a crisis or emergency situation,” said Craig Broeren, principal of Wisconsin Rapids Public Schools. “We have to do it now, so postponing it is not much of a problem.”

The Lincoln High School principal said that in the meantime they were working out some details in advance.

“This has allowed us to speed up the design of the science classrooms a bit, so we are moving forward,” Principal Ronald Rasmussen said. “This has allowed us to work a bit more with our staff on some of the more curriculum needs to make sure they are perfectly designed as we want them to be.”

He also said the building was built in the 1970s, so it was time to upgrade.

“Our rooms date back to the construction of Lincoln in 1979, so 43 years later we are entering a new era of science classrooms,” said Rasmussen.

The expansion includes improved science rooms, relocation of the library to a more central location, and additional security measures. Rasmussen said students are eagerly awaiting the changes.

“They’re excited. I think part of it is because they know something is going on, but until they actually see the bulldozers or the concrete trucks on the spot, it’s like, at what is it actually going to look like? ” Rasmussen said.

Miron Construction told News 9 that despite the steel shortage, the expansion is expected to be completed on time, by the end of 2022, barring further delays.

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