BDHS sign

A reminder for those going past Beaver Dam High School, 500 Gould St., was placed for voters to remember to turn over the ballot and vote on the Beaver Dam Unified School District's $48.9 million referendum question.

More than 68 percent of the voters Tuesday approved the need for $48.9 million in renovations at Beaver Dam High School and other district schools.

“The Beaver Dam Unified School District expresses its most heartfelt thank you to the community for supporting the referendum. The community has a long tradition of supporting our schools,” said superintendent Steve Vessey. “On Tuesday the community again demonstrated its commitment to guiding students and empowering futures. We are excited to be moving forward with these projects.”

Of the 10,146 people who voted for the referendum, 6,944 voted in favor of it. 

Megan Miller, who voted at Faith Community Christian Reformed Church Tuesday, said,  “I have a child who will be going to BDUSD. So any upgrades to the school, I’m definitely for it.”

The results are on track with a survey the district sent out to households last summer. 

In a concept design for the high school, core classes are arranged on the outside of the school to maximize the amount of natural light students are exposed to throughout the day. In addition, the concept positions the students who focus their work in career and technical areas for success.

Sarah Heyer voted at Faith Community Christian Reformed Church as well and voted against the referendum.

“I thought the school was fine,” Heyer said, who graduated from the high school in 2010. “How much could it change in six years.”

The referendum asked for $48.9 million in improvements for the district, including a complete remodel inside Beaver Dam High School, except for the science wing that was recently remodeled. In addition there will be modern safe entrances added to all the schools in the district.

The mill rate will increase by $1.68 per $1,000 of assessed property value. This means $168 for every $100,000 of assessed property values for the duration of the 20-year bond.

The cost to taxpayers will not go into effect until the district finances the project. However Vessey said it would still be below the state average and bellow what taxpayers paid in 2011, when the mill rate was $9.95.

“The board of education would like to thank the people of Beaver Dam for supporting the referendum for our school district. We spent a lot of time researching the needs of our facilities and believe that the referendum brought forward what is in the best interest of our students. We are very excited about the future of our district. We will remain vigilant about communicating the progress of our projects with the community,” said board of education president Joanne Tyjeski.

The phasing of the project work is planned heavily for the summer months over the next few years to minimize disruptions to class time, school events and normal operations, Vessey said. The work areas will be separated from the student areas to maximize safety and security for the students and staff. Project updates will be shared with staff, parents, and the broader community on a regular basis.

The Beaver Dam Unified School District board of education will discuss the referendum during its meeting on Monday at 6:30 p.m. at the Educational Service Center, 705 McKinley St.

Reporter at The Daily Citizen