Beaver Dam Unified School District Board of Education approved the question the voters will see on the election ballot in November at their meeting Monday night. The referendum will ask for $48.9 million in improvements for the district, including a complete remodel inside of Beaver Dam High School, except for the science wing that was recently remodeled.

Superintendent Steve Vessey said resolutions approved by the school board empower the board to finance the project for the high school, as well as to address safety and security needs across all the district’s buildings.

The district sent out a survey to district households that showed support for the district to pursue the referendum. Of the 1,855 responses, 73 percent favored a referendum this fall, including 58 percent of those who are not parents of students.

The survey was done by School Perceptions, an independent research firm that specializes in conducting surveys for schools, educational services agencies, communities and other state-level organizations.

If the referendum question is approved the mill rate will increase by $1.68 per $1,000 of assessed property value. This would mean $168 for every $100,000 of assessed property values for the duration of the 20-year bond.

Board member Jim Jansen thanked the community for completing the survey.

“There was a large percentage of people who completed the survey, and that really helps with such an important decision that we have to make,” Jansen said.

Board member John Kraus Jr. agreed that results led him to feel that the district should proceed with the referendum question.

Board member Bev Beal Loeck said that the survey was broken down in different demographics, all showing support for the district going to referendum.

In the 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 better positions the students who focus their work in career and technical areas for success.

The concept allows better, safer access to the school for community groups and those attending events.

Vessey said, "The proposed redesign represents a long-term solution to our high school facility needs and safety needs throughout our school district."

The vote to put the referendum on the fall ballot was unanimous, except for board president Joanne Tyjeski, who was absent.