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By LeAnn R. Ralph
ELK MOUND — While the Elk Mound Board of Education is expecting to go to referendum, the scope of the referendum has not yet been decided.
A representative for CESA 10 and Tom Twohig of SDS Architects attended the Elk Mound Board of Education’s November 18 meeting to discuss the results of the School Perceptions survey.
The Board of Education talked about prioritizing items and a date for the referendum but never came to a final conclusion, said Eric Wright, school district administrator.
The Elk Mound Board of Education held focus group meetings in September at the high school and the middle school to review projects that had been identified by a facilities study.
Surveys were sent out to school district residents early in October, and the results of the surveys were reviewed by School Perceptions, the company that conducted the survey and tabulated the results, at a meeting held October 28.
The results of the survey sent out to residents in the Elk Mound school district shows “strong support” for $15 million in referendum spending on facilities projects.
All of the projects identified by a facilities study would cost $20 million, and there was less support among survey respondents for the full package of facilities projects.
The area that received the most support on the survey from non-parent non-staff respondents, which is the largest group most likely to vote in a referendum, was improving safety and security at a cost of about $300,000.
Improving the technology education area of the high school (metal shop and wood shop) for $1 million received the second-highest score from non-parent non-staff respondents.
Improvements to the building systems (heating, ventilation, roofs and parking lots) for $5.4 million received the third-highest score.
Other projects, in the order of their approval rating, were updating the libraries at a cost of $125,000; adding middle school classrooms at a cost of $3.2 million; expanding and renovating the middle school and high school music classrooms, at a cost of $3.3 million; expanding the middle school gymnasium at a cost of $3.8 million; expanding and renovating the middle school and high school locker rooms at a cost of $1.71 million; resurfacing the track, fixing the drainage for the football field and moving long/triple jump pit at a cost of $750,000; updating and repairing the swimming pool at a cost of $800,000; and expanding the weight room at a cost of $470,000.
The “cutoff” for the referendum question might be expanding the middle school gymnasium, since the other items below the gymnasium did not receive scores high enough to indicate they would be approved on a referendum.
The middle school and high school music classrooms,which placed just above the middle school gymnasium, might receive enough support to be approved on a referendum, according to the survey results.
Resurfacing the track, fixing the football field drainage, and moving the long/triple jump pit, updating and repairing the swimming pool, and expanding the weight room and the locker rooms would be unlikely to be approved on a referendum, according to the survey results.
CESA 10 and SDS Architects will work together on the scope of the referendum projects, and the Board of Education will consider the scope of the referendum question at the December 16 meeting, Wright said.
In related matter, the Elk Mound Board of Education approved securing the law firm of Quarles & Brady LLP for the purposes of writing referendum resolutions.
The Elk Mound school district “exceeded expectations” on the state report card with an overall score of 79.9, the Board of Education learned at the November 18 meeting.
Mound View Elementary received a score of 85.4 and “significantly exceeded expectations.”
The cut-off score for moving into the significantly exceeding expectations category is 83.
Elk Mound Middle School exceeded expectations with a score of 75.8, and Elk Mound High School exceeded expectations with a score of 78.3.
“We are proud of our staff,” Wright said.
The state report card is, Wright noted, “one piece of the puzzle” and is a one-day or a three-day snapshot, depending upon the test, of what is going on in the district, he said.
“Still, it is nice to celebrate the positives,” Wright said.
In other business, the Elk Mound Board of Education:
• Learned that DARE graduation will be December 13.
• Learned that 70 students are out for powerlifting this year.
• Approved a list of long-range planning projects that will be completed as funds become available. If something comes up as a safety issue, that item immediately goes to the top of the list, Wright said.
• Approved revisions for policy 342.6, Services for English Learners, to meet state requirements and as recommended by the Wisconsin Association of School Boards.
• Reviewed safety drills that were completed the previous Friday as per Act 143.
• Approved a cooperative agreement for boys’ and girls’ golf with the Colfax school district starting in 2020-2021.
The Elk Mound Board of Education meets next on December 16 following the Mound View Elementary concert.