Home » News » Multi-purpose facility proposed in Ashwaubenon

Multi-purpose facility proposed in Ashwaubenon

By Kevin Boneske
Staff Writer

AHSWAUBENON – In the event the school district would hold a referendum next year, one project that could be included among the items being funded is a new multi-purpose facility.

Nick Senger, activity director at Ashwaubenon High School, spoke Wednesday, Feb. 13, before the school board about the possibility of adding an indoor facility to a potential referendum.

He noted in recent years school districts in the Fox Valley, including West De Pere, have added or are adding indoor multi-purpose facilities with that space being an asset to those school districts and used to support learning for all students.

Senger said a multi-purpose facility of 45,500 square feet with a 55-foot ceiling in Ashwaubenon, which he estimated the cost at $6-8 million, could be used for ACT testing, state testing, band practice, physical education curriculum and co-curricular athletics.

“When there’s (inclement) weather outside, where are we supposed to practice?” he said. “Our facilities are used non-stop.”

Senger said he brought the idea of building a multi-purpose facility before the board “to start the conversation about the need for that additional space.”

He suggested building a multi-purpose facility on the southeast side of the high school field house where a parking area is located.

However, Business Director Keith Lucius said contamination in that area would drive up the cost for locating the project there.

“It’s going to be an expensive place to build in that parking lot right now because of the contamination,” Lucius said. “I don’t want you to get too wrapped up in how it would look or where would it be. I think you need to think about the concept of whether this is something the community would support and want.”

Mike Mader, the board’s open enrollment representative, said having a multi-purpose building could be an asset for Ashwaubenon’s schools.

“This would be a huge asset, I think for Ashwaubenon,” Mader said. “I think it would be huge for those coming to the district, looking at that.”

Lucius said the board could include a multi-purpose facility as part of a possible referendum and survey the community to see if there would be support for that type of project.

“Other than a referendum… there’s no way out of our operating budget that we’d be able to do it,” he said. “That’s why the timing was to bring it (up) tonight to have you think about that, and then as we look at possible projects, consider this, whether you support it or not, and whether it should be included in that type of a referendum.”

Given the district’s various building needs, Jay Van Laanen, school board president, questioned whether a multi-purpose facility would be a want or a need.

Brian Nelsen, high school principal, compared school districts adding multi-purpose buildings in recent years to when they constructed field houses in the late 1990s and early 2000s.

“You didn’t want to be the school without a field house…Now I can see the same thing happening with these indoor facilities,” Nelsen said. “It started in Kimberly, it’s in Kaukauna and now it’s in West De Pere. I know of one other district for sure where it’s being talked about very, very seriously. I would just say keep an open mind and take a look.”

Board members agreed to include a multi-purpose facility as a possible referendum project and favored hiring a consultant to get cost estimates.

Lucius had provided the board with a list of building needs for a possible referendum with a preliminary estimate of $6.68 million, not including a multi-purpose facility.

Out of the $6.68 million estimate, $2.5 million would be for air conditioning the entire high school, Valley View Elementary School and Pioneer Elementary School.

The list Lucius provided also noted the district would need to hire an architect or get bids from vendors to get more accurate costs.

Based on $14-15 million worth of project costs, Lucius said the district could hold a referendum next year with the debt to be paid back over 15 years at around $1 million per year and keep the tax rate constant, given the district is paying off its existing debt this year.

Facebook Comments
Scroll to Top