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Board set to tackle $23 million task force recommendation

Three community members from the St. Croix Central Facilities Task Force presented the task force’s recommendation to the school board Monday, June 23.

Brett Budrow led off the presentation by recognizing the members of the community, staff, administration and board who comprised the task force. He briefly summarized the responsibilities with which the task force was charged, the research employed by the task force to determine the space and programing needs of the district, and the timeline leading up to Monday’s meeting.

After detailing the specific space and programming needs for the elementary, middle and high schools, he turned the presentation over to Rachel Vogt who walked the board through a summary of the results of the month-long phone survey conducted by the Morris Leatherman Company.

Vogt reviewed the levels of community support for the various additions and improvements being recommended. She then broke down the favorable tax tolerance indicated for a sample $20 million bond by demographics, including income and age.

Dawn Budrow concluded the presentation by spelling out the specific recommendations for each building and their associated costs accompanied by proposed site and floor plans.

  • Pursue a bond issue, not to exceed $23 million to allow the following improvements at St. Croix Central Facilities for programing and enrollment needs.
  • Improvements to the high school including a 600-seat auditorium, auxiliary gym, expanded space for special education, STEM and music totaled $12,700,181.
  • Improvements to the middle school including additional entrance security, additional classrooms and remodeled STEM and lab space totaled $3,256,144.
  • Improvements to the elementary school, including a new 4K to fourth-grade building if “financially and logistically feasible,” additional gym, additional space for special education and a science lab, and a reconfigured student drop off, parking and bus loop totalling $6,273,675.
  • A new bus garage at an estimated cost of $765,000.
  • The total cost for all of the recommended space and programming improvements is $22,995,000.
  • The annual property tax impact on a $100,000 home would be $8 monthly and $99 annually. On a $300,000 home, the impact would be $25 monthly and $297 annually.
  • An additional expenditure of $1.4 million for air conditioning is expected to accompany the new improvements across all three buildings.   

Lastly, the committee recommended adding a second question to the November referendum to address the need for an additional $250,000 to pay for operating costs associated with the new additions and improvements. The complete recommendation of the task force can be found on the district website at

“The School Board thanks everyone involved on the task force. We appreciate your efforts. There will be more work to come. You’ve given us a lot to chew on and we have a short time to do it,” said School Board President Howard Kruschke.

Director John Hueg joined President Kruschke in thanking the members of the task force for the hundreds of volunteer hours that went into formulating their recommendation.

Following a discussion regarding the need to fine tune some of the recommendation numbers including the new bus garage, air conditioning and 4K prior to further review, the board agreed to schedule a special work session for Monday, July 7, starting at 6:30 p.m. at the middle school library.

Other business

  •  The board approved making the High School Food Science Course a Science Equivalency Course. Agricultural teacher Bill Emery encouraged the board to approve the new science elective in time for students to receive credit from the University of Wisconsin system before changing DPI requirements eliminate that option.

“This looks like a reasonably formidable science curriculum,” said Kruschke.

Hueg agreed, adding the new course “adds to the elective pool of science courses (at SCC) and reinforces the overall idea of correlative learning.”  

  •  History teacher Dan Ruud presented the board with a review of the eighth grade’s annual trip to Washington D.C.

“A big thank you to our SCC community, the staff members, the chaperones, school board members, children and  parents for allowing us to take this trip every year,” Ruud began.

Twenty-six chaperones including parents, teachers and, for the first time, Principal Scott Woodington, accompanied eighth-graders on a whirlwind six-day tour.

Students interested in going on the trip are encouraged to begin raising funds through school sponsored activities beginning in fifth grade. The trip costs $500 per student and includes everything except six meals.

Superintendent Tim Widiker expressed his appreciation to all of the parents and teachers for their assistance with the trip but in particular to Rudd for “going above and beyond what is expected every year.”

Hueg seconded Widiker’s sentiments adding, “The trip is the culminating event of so much of what students study in eighth grade because it is U.S. history and social studies. When students are writing, they are writing about the things they are going to see, the memorials they are going to see. The learning environment is connected in a very real application. The trip brings together so many of the of the concepts of student achievement and excellence in real life and it’s fun to boot which just increases the learning for so many of these students.”

  •  The board approved a revision to Board Activity Policy 400.196 enabling members of the Trap Shooting Team to earn a Varsity Letter. Director Hueg challenged Dean of Students Jeremy Kerg to craft new policy which more clearly defines the requirements an activity must meet in order for participants to earn a varsity letter.
  •  Following a closed session, the Board approved a 2.46 percent salary increase for 2014-15 for all teaching, administrative and support staff.