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Construction Continues: Fitness center will be part of new Oconto Falls Middle School

Posted at 5:07 PM, Dec 12, 2023
and last updated 2023-12-12 18:07:49-05
  • A fitness center will be included in a new, $34 million middle school at Oconto Falls Public Schools
  • Inflation had led to uncertainty as to whether the fitness center would remain in the building plans
  • Goals for the fitness center include teaching lifelong skills in staying healthy

As a new Oconto Falls Middle School takes shape, Tamara Kardoskee said it is "excellent" that the school will include a fitness center.
Kardoskee has two grandchildren who will be able to use the fitness center at the new school.

"A lot of parents, they just don't have the time or the money... this way [a fitness center is] available to them and I think it's a great thing. Kids need to get more fit," Kardoskee said, speaking in general about the fitness center being part of the new school.

Whether or not the fitness center would remain in the plans was unknown, due to inflation and cost uncertainty.

"Even with our planning, inflation was changing so significantly, we weren't sure whether things were going to be in-budget or not," said Oconto Falls Public Schools Superintendent Dean Hess.

But then the bids for the building came in under budget, even with the fitness center.  

That meant it remained in the plans for the new $34 million school.

One of the goals of the fitness center, is to teach lifelong skills in staying healthy, Hess said.

"We look at not just getting kids up and moving today, we look at trying to have them involved in activities that they'll be involved in hopefully throughout their life," said Hess, who emphasized the project would not be possible without community support. The fitness center at the high school is free for community members to use during certain hours.

The middle school fitness center will be used for gym class, for students who participate in activities like sports, and as a workout room for staff.

No other stand-alone middle school in Oconto County includes a fitness center.

The new school is set to open for students in the fall of 2025, Hess said.