Maple administrators mull options to complete student house

Students can't return to school to finish the build, per state mandate.
The house project at Northwestern High School sits unfinished outside of the school Tuesday, April 14. (Jed Carlson /

The Maple School Board voted April 13 to give administrators a range of options to complete a nearly-finished home built by Northwestern High School students.

Last year’s building construction class house sold for $32,000 along with a $2,500 donation to Tiger Manufacturing, the district’s technical education program. The money was earmarked for a new welder, according to minutes of the May 13, 2019 meeting.

This year’s house has yet to be sided. Siding has been purchased, but students won't be able to install it this spring. Gov. Tony Evers on Thursday, April 16, closed schools for the remainder of the 2019-20 school year.

The house could be sold as-is with the siding included, but administrators said that would reduce the amount of money that can be reinvested in Tiger Manufacturing.

Options for completing the building include bringing in past graduates to do the work or finishing it during summer school.


“You’re assuming summer school is a go at this time,” said board treasurer Mike Granlund.

“Yes, even if it turns into online summer school,” Croney said.

The board’s vote allows administrators to continue looking for the best possible way to finish the house and put it up for bid without a special board meeting being required.

Revisions to the district’s Angel Fund were also approved at the April 13 meeting. Initially created to provide financial help to families with negative lunch balances, the board voted Monday to expand the fund so it can also be used for co- and extra-curricular fees. That could include outstanding fees owed by seniors to allow them to graduate. Only teachers and staff can nominate families for the funding.

The Maple School Board also approved a post-employment retirement benefit. The move aligns with the goal of board members to retain teachers and improve morale, said member Adam Landwehr.

Business Manager Paul Staffrude gave board members an update on summer maintenance, which has been started at district buildings. He said some bigger-ticket projects may be affected by the extended tax deadline, which was pushed back because of the current public health emergency. The district is waiting on $4.1 million of outstanding property taxes for the current school year, Staffrude said.

Maria Lockwood covers news in Douglas County, Wisconsin, for the Superior Telegram.
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