The Pulaski Community School District Board of Education at its Aug. 17 meeting unanimously approved two referendum questions to be placed on the ballot for the Nov. 8 election.
The referendum consists of two parts:
A facilities plan that includes:
• Hillcrest Elementary addition/renovation and updates, $29,415,600
• Sunnyside Elementary addition/renovation and updates, $26,915,500
• An option to build additional new classrooms and vacate basement would add $1.5 million to $2 million
• Pulaski Community Middle School updates, $2,904,900
• Pulaski High School technical education addition/renovation and updates, $6,520,500
• Fairview Elementary site updates, $659,000
• Lannoye Elementary site updates, $1,773,600
• Glenbrook Elementary updates, $1,610,900
An operations plan that would raise $8.5 million over five years to:
• Help the district increase compensation and benefits to be comparable to surrounding districts to keep attracting and retaining high-quality teachers and staff.
• Pay salaries of additional staff to support additional learning spaces.
• Pay operational costs of additional learning spaces.
For more than a year, the district has studied its facilities, programs and staffing to plan for a future that includes increasing enrollment, particularly on the eastern side of the district.
An initial project was brought forth last winter and was fine-tuned this summer after listening to the community through a survey and in listening sessions, among other feedback.
In November 2021, MD Roffers presented a demographics study to the board that details an increase in resident 4K-12 students projected from 2021 to 2035.
Significant projected enrollment increases are expected:
• At the expanding south edge of the village of Pulaski;
• In neighborhoods in the towns of Chase and Little Suamico;
• Near North Overland Road in Hobart.
Already, increasing enrollment at Hillcrest Elementary has necessitated using closets and storage areas for offices and classroom space.
Music classes were taught in the gym last school year with the music teacher’s office being located in a locker room also used as a storage area.
Portable classrooms are being constructed at Hillcrest, which will help in the short term, however, the village of Hobart has only approved their use for five years.
The district has lowered the mill rate from $9.83 per $1,000 assessed value in the 2013-14 school year to $6.32 per $1.000 assessed value in the 2021-22 school year.
If voters approve both questions, the projected mill rate would be $8.18, an increase of about $1.86 per $1,000 (or $279 on a $150,000 home), but still lower than the rate in the 2019-2020 school year.
The maximum tax impact over the 2021-22 mill rate would be about $1.28 for the facilities projects and an average of 55 cents for the operational piece.
More community meetings are in the works to provide additional information and answer questions.
To see more in-depth information about the projects, go to: www.pulaskischools.org/business/facilities-projects.
QUESTION NUMBER I: “Shall the Pulaski Community School District, Brown, Oconto, Shawano and Outagamie Counties, Wisconsin be authorized to exceed the revenue limit specified in Section 121. 91, Wisconsin Statutes, by $1,500,000 for the 2023-2024 school year, by $1,600,000 for the 2024-2025 school year, by $1,700,000 for the 2025-2026 school year, by $1,800,000 for the 2026-2027 school year and by $1,900,000 for the 2027-2028 school year, for nonrecurring purposes consisting of compensating and providing benefits to teachers and staff, maintaining programs and services, and operating facilities?”
QUESTION NUMBER II: “Shall the Pulaski Community School District, Brown, Oconto, Shawano and Outagamie Counties, Wisconsin be authorized to issue pursuant to Chapter 67 of the Wisconsin Statutes, general obligation bonds in an amount not to exceed $69,800,000 for the public purpose of paying the cost of a school facility improvement project consisting of: construction of additions, renovations and safety improvements at Hillcrest and Sunnyside Elementary Schools; construction of a Technical Education addition and renovations at the High School; district-wide building systems, capital maintenance and site improvements, accessibility updates and renovations; and acquisition of furnishings, fixtures and equipment?”