Superintendent presents before Chamber group
Superintendent Don Johnson gave a 5-minute presentation on the potential fall referendum to Middleton Chamber of Commerce members at the monthly Get Moving Middleton breakfast meeting on Thursday at the Hilton Garden Inn.
Middleton-Cross Plains Area School District Board of Education members Ellen Lindgren and Leeanne Hallquist were in attendance. In addition, Brian Hornung, Christin Mlsna and Jeff Tubbs of J.H. Findorff & Son, the construction firm for the potential referendum, attended the event.
More than 175 chamber members were also in attendance. To see more photos from the presentation, please visit the district's Facebook page.
Johnson updated the business community on the needs of the school district, which include enrollment challenges at the elementary level along with multiple facility issues at Kromrey Middle School. He pointed out a third challenge is to remain fiscally responsible for the 70-75 percent of community members who don't have children in the schools.
Two slides pointed out the enrollment issues at the elementary schools. Five of the six elementary schools were over capacity in 2011-12 and the other, Northside, had 10 student spaces available and is expected to be over capacity this fall. In fact, the district is nearly 300 students over capacity at the elementary level right now and officials anticipate being nearly 500 students over capacity in five years.
The plan the Board of Education is considering would convert all six MCPASD elementary schools into K-4 facilities and turn both middle schools into 5-8 facilities. Currently, the district has a K-5 and 6-8 configuration.
To accomplish this, the school district is proposing rebuilding Kromrey and putting an addition on Glacier Creek Middle School in Cross Plains. This would also relieve overcrowding at all six elementary schools, Johnson said.
The capital costs of the project haven't been finalized but are expected to be around $59.8 million. The operational costs are expected to be less than $800,000. A conservative estimate of the tax impact is $70 on a home valued at $100,000. The failed referendum of 2009 had a tax impact of $141 on a $100,000 home.
"We've worked hard to come up with a better solution with the lowest tax impact possible,'' he told the audience.
The Board of Education will consider placing a referendum on the Nov. 6 general election ballot at its next regular meeting on July 23. The BOE has until late August to decide if it wants to place a question on the Nov. 6 ballot.
School district officials held five engagement sessions for parents and community members to learn more about the potential referendum in May. They also met with parent groups at all of the elementary and middle schools earlier in the spring along with staff members at all of the schools. More sessions will be held in September and October.
To learn more about the needs of the district, please visit the Future Facility Plans page on the district website. Some of the items on the page include:
* A video on the needs at Kromrey.
* A video on enrollment increases at the elementary level.
* A video addressing questions about moving fifth-graders to the middle school.
* A PDF of the presentation that was given to parents and community groups in May.
* A number of Frequently Asked Questions.