The possibility of renovations brings mixed emotions to Fremont

The Fremont school district has issued a bond of over 120 million dollars in order to renovate and update the schools.
“The way Fremont has grown hasn’t been the same as some other suburban school districts like Gretna and Bennington,” Dr. Brad Dahl, the Associate Superintendent of Fremont Public Schools said. “They grow quickly with a lot of new students so the need to build new buildings often is pretty obvious for the community.”
Fremont has had 25,000 people and 5,000 students on average over the past 20 years, causing renovations to happen less often.
“What has happened is that our buildings have gotten older over time, they were built in the ’50s and the ’60s,” Dahl said. “The high school has been added on 5 times since the early ’60s.”
Fremont High and surrounding schools in the district have been added onto along the way to refresh, update and make sure they have the proper education facilities that the district needs.
“Most buildings have parts or all of it that are over 70 years old,” Dahl said. “They are no longer energy efficient, the way we teach today may not flow as well as in the older setting. We knew we had lots of needs and old debt.”
Renovating will take place over a span of three years, with 10 projects to accomplish in that time.

“This is a really big bond issue, we are talking about 10 projects with a little under 130 million dollars of work that needs to be done,” Dahl said.
Three brand new elementary schools have been proposed to the citizens’ committee under the bond. Clarmar, Washington and Howard have been proposed for those renovations.

“Our plan is to build Washington and Howard right on sight,” Dahl said. “There is enough room there to build the new building before we raze or demolish the old building. So we can continue to educate while we build the new building.”
Most of the renovating will take place over the summer but there will be projects that carry on into the school year.
Clarmar will be built on a new site in order for students to continue attending school while the build is in session.

“We are working with our local real estate developers to identify 12-16 acres of land where we can build a new Clarmar elementary,” Dahl said.

The old Clarmar will eventually be used as a swing site for the high school when renovations need students to be absent from the normal learning environment.

“Other districts have used swing sites in malls so that is also considered a possibility,” Dahl said.

An extensive renovation of Fremont high school has been placed on the table, such as locker rooms, the commons, some of the green space, the air conditioning, HVAC systems.

“We really want to focus on energy efficiency,” Dahl said.