Residents in the Weyauwega-Freemont School District will be voting on more than the election on November 8th. They will also be deciding whether or not to approve the referendum that will allow the district to borrow up to $21 million for high school and elementary school repairs, renovations, and other security improvements.
The referendum comes after an educational analysis and facility study over multiple years, as explained by District Administrator Scott Bleck.
“It’s been an ongoing process for about three years,” said Bleck. “Once we got into that evaluation process we learned very soon there was a large list of items that could potentially be addressed and our ability to address those items through annual budget development would be difficult.”
It was at that time that the board continued its investigation into a referendum and determined they would pose the question to the community and voters.
The last capital expansion referendum in the district came 25 years ago, which was the construction of the current middle school. Bleck says that has been paid off since the 2010-2011 school year and are now debt free.
Much of the current educational environment is outdated within the school and the referendum would help upgrade many learning facilities, including the sciences.
“All of our sciences would utilize a wing of the school and more importantly be efficient with the resources that we have, where kids can move in and out of supervision of staff with ease. I guess, up the times, the learning environments for the sciences.
Additionally, the district hopes to upgrade their fine arts programming, like the current auditorium from 1969, the addition of a multi-purpose gymnasium, and other security and implementation of more energy efficient systems.
Overall, Bleck hopes to provide the facts for voters to make their educated decisions because there is more than just looking at the district’s needs
“It’s also recognizing the challenges that taxpayers have as well and being conscious of everybody’s situation because we are very fortunate. We’ve had the support of public education and the support of our communities locally and throughout our state.”
The mill rate for the district is $7.69, down 63 cents this year, and the average impact from the referendum is $2.65. More information on the referendum can be found on the districts website.