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Ashwaubenon school referendums meeting March 9

By Press Times Staff

ASHWAUBENON – The second referendums meeting about two school referendums district voters will see on the spring general election ballot will be held at 6 p.m. Monday, March 9, in the Cormier School and Early Learning Center gym.

The Ashwaubenon school board is seeking voter approval April 7 of an operational referendum to exceed the district’s state-imposed revenue limit by $730,000 annually for five years, starting with the 2020-21 school year and ending in 2024-25, and a capital referendum for issuing up to $10.05 million in general obligation bonds to pay for a district-wide facility improvement program.

Superintendent Kurt Weyers said the informational referendums meeting will be similar to the one held Jan. 29 in the Pioneer Elementary School gym.

He said school staff will provide details about the two referendums and answer questions from those in attendance.

In addition, Weyers said those at the meeting will be able to see where facility improvements are planned at Cormier as part of the capital referendum, such as with improving school security.

Capital referendum

Along with the adding air conditioning throughout the high school and Pioneer and Valley View elementary schools at an estimated cost of $4.35 million, the capital referendum calls for: safety and security improvements; facility and building infrastructure updates and site improvements; and the acquisition of furnishings, fixtures and equipment.

District estimates place the cost of improving school security at Cormier and Pioneer at $3.9 million.

The district’s estimate is $1.8 million for updating the facilities to remove asbestos, repair the Pioneer gym foundation, repair the high school track, replace three gym floors, replace light fixtures in the gyms and replace windows and doors at Parkview.

Operational referendum

Based on board members’ discussions with district staff and previous public information meetings, $650,000 of the operational referendum would be designated for student mental health services and the other $80,000 to operate the air conditioning that would be added as part of the capital referendum.

In the event the operational referendum passes, but not the capital referendum, thereby resulting in air conditioning not being approved but there being money authorized to pay for operating it, the board would only levy $650,000 annually in overriding the revenue limit to pay for student mental health services and not the additional $80,000.

At the Jan. 29 informational meeting, Tammy Nicholson, district pupil services director, said the operational referendum would fund student mental health services by paying for the following additional staff:

• Three school counselors.

• Two social workers.

• Two social emotional learning coaches.

• Two graduation coaches – partnering with the Boys & Girls Club.

• Adding a .33 full-time equivalent for a full-time at-risk position at the high school.

In addition, Nicholson said the district would also be adding social emotional learning materials and training as part of the operational referendum.

Referendum mailings

Prior to the referendum questions going before district voters April 7, Weyers said two mailings will be sent in March.

He said the first mailing will include details about the operational referendum and what the $730,000 would be used for annually.

Weyers said the second mailing will include the wording of the two referendum questions with bullet points to explain both.

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