GREEN BAY AND APPLETON - Schools across northeast Wisconsin are under construction this summer.The two largest school districts in our area have started in on projects approved by referendums this year.So will the schools be done by September? Construction crews have gutted the science wing at Appleton East High School."We called this the war zone a while ago," said Paul Weiss, the associate principal at the school.The broken lab equipment is gone. By fall, eight state of the art science rooms will be here.Some things we just couldn't do the way we wanted to because we didn't have the equipment or the safety and this bringing it all together so we're excited," said Weiss.East will also have two new classrooms for its robotics program.It's all part of the $25 million referendum taxpayers approved in February.But those plans go beyond the high school.One elementary will have a more secure entrance to its new office expansion.What used to be a classroom in Jefferson Elementary will soon be the main office. Through here will be a nurse's room, and beyond that, a principal's office.While projects are visible in Appleton, it's harder for the public to see the changes happening in the Green Bay School District.That's because much of the 20 million dollars in heating and cooling system upgrades are still in the design phase."This fall we'll be taking those and putting our plans together for bidding and so in early spring we can start the work on the major renovations on the mechanical systems at all six schools," said Mike Stangel, the district's facilities director.Franklin Middle School is one of the schools. This year, students will have new auditorium seats. Installation of windows will continue through the fall. But students will have to wait until fall 2015 for the project to be complete.."We'll need to be in each of the buildings, each of the rooms with the buildings to install the new equipment," said Stangel.Both districts say despite the sawdust and sweat, the work will be worth every taxpayer penny."Just to be able to do the things that we want to do in the classroom and be able to provide the best for our students," said Weiss.If you want updates on referendum projects, click here.
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