The DeForest Area School District was recently faced with a “good” kind of problem: How to respond to enrollment growth.
The district ultimately chose to build a new intermediate school for fourth-, fifth- and sixth-graders. Construction on the new Harvest Intermediate School began in May 2020 and was completed in August 2021.
J.H. Findorff & Son served as the general contractor on the project.
The 205,000-square-foot school was made possible by a 2019 referendum for districtwide improvements. The $46.3 million projects includes a multipurpose cafeteria with a full kitchen, a library-media center, a gymnasium, a secured main entrance, collaborative environments for modern learning and classrooms.
The school is on rural farmland, adjacent to a creek, and complements the surrounding landscape to provide more outdoor learning opportunities for students. The modern design of wood and steel exteriors leads into the interior space of the school. The color palette is subtle, pulling from the natural surroundings.
The interior entrance is spacious with high ceilings and skylights, providing ample natural light. Within the main cafeteria of the building is the social stair, which can be used for events or as a larger classroom with a projector and speakers.
Each grade is separated into “communities” consisting of classrooms, locker areas, bathrooms and learning spaces for students to collaborate or work alone. Additional learning spaces are spread out throughout the entire school.
“The school has a lot of space to offer for public events in their commons space with multiple projectors as well as a large three-bay gym that is expected to be rented out for many events and local leagues,” said Matt Claggett, project manager for Findorff.
“The new Intermediate School provides additional capacity and flexibility for the district as it continues to grow. The community is very proud of this new award-winning facility.”
Cost: $46.3 million
Start: May 2020
Completion: August 2021
Owner/Developer: DeForest Area School District
Architect: Eppstein Uhen Architects
Engineer: raSmith, Kapur
Construction Manager: J.H. Findorff & Son
Submitting Company: J.H. Findorff & Son
Subcontractors: Best Brick Washing, Braun ThyssenKrupp Elevator, Breezy Hill Nursery, Carroll Seating, Central Ceiling Systems, Century Fence, Common Links Construction, Dayton Superior, Faith Technologies, Federal Rent-A-Fence, Floor 360, Goodson Furniture and Equipment, Gordy’s Concrete Pumping Service, Hard Rock Sawing & Drilling Specialist, HJ Martin & Son, Izsam Clean of Southern Wisconsin, Kapur & Associates, Klein Dickert, Monona Plumbing & Fire Protection, Nations Roof North, North American Mechanical, Northern Metal & Roofing, Overhead Door Co. of Madison, Protective Coating Specialists, Raymond P Cattell, RG Huston, Ryan Signs, Schmidt Custom Floors, Sciachitano Cualking, Sergenians Floor Coverings, Sid’s Sealants, The Boelter Cos. dba Boelter LLC, The Bruce Co. of Wisconsin, Tri-County Paving, Wisconsin’s Window Concepts, Zander Solutions
Photo Credit: C&N Photography