The Daily Globe - Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

Hurley School Board to seek bids for expanding shop area


December 18, 2018

Ralph Ansami/Daily Globe

HURLEY SCHOOL District metals teacher Jake Hostetler, left, discusses benefits of a planned building expansion project Monday with the school board. Mike Fontecchio, second from left, Rick Swartz and district business manager Bree Lombardo listen.


Hurley - The Hurley School Board Monday agreed to seek bids for expanding the K-12 school.

The school board could act on accepting bids at its February meeting. District administrator Chris Patritto was instructed to get the ball rolling to solicit bids.

"This could be a catalyst for people wanting to stay here," school board president Joe Simonich, of Kimball, said of the potential of the expansion area.

"This gets my support 100 percent," he said.

The board did not talk numbers or size of the project Monday, but it originally discussed a 4,300-square-foot addition to the technology (wood and metal shops) area at the K-12 school that would cost around $1.1 million and a wellness center costing around $1 million.

Shop instructors Roger Peterson and Jake Hostetler discussed how the added space would not only help students in the school district, but possibly those from other Wisconsin and Michigan schools and adults, as well.

"It's a chance to increase opportunities for students and get the community to use the school," Hostetler said.

Peterson said expanded curriculum could result, as well as bigger class sizes.

Hosteler discussed the possibility of an open Wednesday for the community to use the shop area, or adult learning classes through the Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College in Ashland. Gogebic Community College in Ironwood presently has two classes at Hurley.

Simonich said trades occupations such as carpenters and plumbers are busy in the area and the expansion could open up more job training for students. He cited the effectiveness of the Northwoods Manufacturing program in which students make products to sell.

Patritto said Hurley students are prepared well. "Our kids know their options," he said.

Simonich said he's amazed at the quality of products that come from the student-run Northwoods Manufacturing program.

Other benefits of the program include learning marketing skills and accounting, Patritto said. "There's more to it than people see," he said.

It was estimated Monday there are about 100 students in middle-high school enrolled in the shop classes.

The Hurley Education Foundation has pledged $50,000 toward the expansion.


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