Lake Delton board commits PRT funds to new high school

Lake Delton's board adjourned at the front table of the Kay C. Mackesey Administrative Building's meeting room for its twice-monthly meeting Oct.9.

ED LEGGE/Dells Events

The idea of a new high school building complex for the Wisconsin Dells School District continues to find financial support.

The Lake Delton Village Board voted unanimously Oct. 9 to support a resolution committing 0.25 percent of premier resort tax dollars to the potential project. The exact details will depend on what plan the school district creates.

The tax funds, August promise of 80 acres of Wisconsin Dells farmland from Todd and Shari Nelson and a commitment of $500,000 from Sally Olsen-Bracken a month later all point toward a new high school complex, Wisconsin Dells School District Administrator Terry Slack said.

“We’ve had three significant dominoes fall in favor of a new high school,” Slack said. “First was the very generous gift by Todd and Shari, second was the renewed commitment of Sally Olsen-Bracken and the third piece is the work of the village board to pass the resolution to provide for PRT-eligible expenses.”

The District Board has yet to vote regarding any of the three “dominoes,” Slack said. But the District already has drafted the services of an architectural consultant to determine “what that final (tax) number will look like” based on which facilities might be PRT financing eligible, Slack said.

According to state law, PRT funds may not be used for the construction of school buildings. However, buildings the community could use — like a gymnasium or amphitheater — would be eligible to receive funds.

A special School Board meeting to discuss the latest development’s implications is tentatively set for the evening of Oct. 25, Slack said.

The combination of property and funds would “help mitigate the cost of the project and the impact local residents would see,” he said, and the district might have to wait for much-needed elementary school facilities improvements.

“We recognize we have other needs as well, but we don’t have the wherewithal to do two projects simultaneously,” Slack said. “It’s not a matter of saying ‘no,’ but more a matter of saying ‘not yet’” to a needed new elementary school or facilities upgrade.

In introducing the resolution during the Lake Delton board’s twice-monthly meeting, Trustee Tom Diehl referred to the momentum already in a new high school’s favor.

“Todd and Shari have committed to a piece of property across from Trappers Turn and the district has received the commitment from the Olsen family,” Diehl said prior to the vote. “This resolution will be sent on to the School Board so that they have a commitment from the village of a quarter of a percent.”

“Obviously this is key to them being able to make whatever decision they’re going to make about it,” he said.

In other business, the board did the following:

  • Approved a sign application for Outlots LLC :to to replace existing billboard sign to a 100-square-foot, double-sided free- standing billboard;
  • Approved bartenders licenses for Lisa Marie Westcoat and Brittany Mary Morales