SCC committee prepares for possible referendumA group of about 20 St. Croix Central School District residents have been attending committee meetings to evaluate the programming needs for the district and to develop recommendations to the school board.
By: Gretta Stark, New Richmond News
A group of about 20 St. Croix Central School District residents have been attending committee meetings to evaluate the programming needs for the district and to develop recommendations to the school board.
Superintendent David Bradley said there isn’t enough space to meet the needs of students in the district.
“The purpose of the programming needs committee was to look at the programming, not only was that already muddy with classrooms and space, but then we became aware of the new change in the new Wisconsin law for the Wisconsin Energy Revenue Cap Exemption,” he said.
He said the board decided it wanted to pursue the exemption, which would allow the district to borrow money to complete energy-related projects.
Replacing or repairing roofs would qualify for the exemption and the district needs a lot of repairs on building roofs, especially at the elementary school, in the next couple years.
A facilities analysis completed by Wold Architects and Engineers estimated it would cost about $12.1 million to get the district facilities to like-new condition.
A lot of what was in the analysis is energy-related – heating, ventilation, air conditioning and roofs, Bradley said.
“The energy consultants we’re working with (McKinstry) tell us that the new law allows the school board to go ahead and borrow money over time to complete the projects that qualify for the program. We’re in the process now of revisiting that list and seeing which of the priority one and two items in that list we believe will qualify,” he said.
Bradley said the district will fix what it can using the energy exemption and will try rolling the rest of its needs together for a possible referendum.
“If we (the school board) were serious about going for a vote in the spring of 2013, we would need to have our plan in place and priorities identified by this November,” he said.
The programming needs committee has agreed that the district should consider a referendum to address these needs in the spring of 2013.
At its April 4 meeting, the committee looked over a priority list of 42 items and discussed what constituted needs vs. wants.
At the top of the list was expanded network infrastructure to allow for expanded use of technology, an additional handicap-accessible restroom at the high school and acoustical treatment of the high school band and vocal rooms. Rounding out the bottom of the list was adding a police liaison officer position and wireless access on buses.
Architect Vaughn Dierks was at the meeting to answer questions about crucial school repairs and expansions.
One committee member said the costs of each proposed project need to be defined before the committee can move forward.
Dierks said he would break down the estimated costs by scenario: security, athletics, auditorium, art wing, music, classroom capacity, bus garage and computer lab space.
“That would start to give some pricing around different building option ideas,” he said.
The next programming needs committee meeting is April 18 from 5:30-7 p.m. in the high school library. Everyone is welcome to attend.