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Dodgeland School District to go to referendum in April
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Dodgeland School District to go to referendum in April

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JUNEAU – Dodgeland School District will have a referendum question on the ballot in April asking voters to approve borrowing $17 million for improvements to the district’s 20-year-old building.

The Dodgeland School District board of education approved the wording of a referendum question Monday.

The question will read: “Be it resolved by the school board of the Dodgeland School District, Dodge County, Wisconsin that there shall be issued pursuant to Chapter 67 of the Wisconsin Statutes, general obligation bonds in an amount not to exceed $17 million for the public purpose of paying the cost of a district-wide school facilities improvement project consisting of: district-wide building systems and infrastructure updates and safety, security and site improvements; construction of an addition and renovations to the technical education area; renovations to classrooms, learning spaces, the library’media center, commons and offices; and acquisition of furnishings, fixtures and equipment.”

Voters in the district last approved a school building referendum May 9, 2000. At that time, a single building in Juneau replaced five buildings: a high school in Juneau, middle school in Reeseville and elementary schools in Lowell, Clyman and Juneau. The district had a 20-year loan that will be paid off in March.

Dodgeland sits on 50 acres which was formerly farm land. The building itself is about 192,000 square feet. Voters originally approved a $16.9 million referendum to build the school.

A districtwide survey went out in November discussing the facility with 556 responses. The survey showed a majority of voters would approve a referendum around $17 million.

The school board met Jan. 6 for three hours and heard a plan that came in at $17.8 million and asked for the plan to be reduced to the $17 million amount.

A $17 million referendum amount will represent an estimated decrease of $40 per year per $100,000 of property value over what tax payers are currently paying with the 2000 referendum debt still on the tax bills.

Michael Hacker from Bray Architects said that the school administration worked with them in reducing the scope of the project by $827,000. There were reductions in the projects that will be done with the skylights in the high school, commons area and library.

“As we sat down and looked at what had the least impact on education, these three stood out to us,” Hacker said.

Bill Foster, from School Perceptions, said that the skylights would be cut down by 25 percent from 12 classrooms of space to 10 classrooms.

“It still will have a meaningful impact in the high school,” Foster said.

There will be some reductions in the square footage of improvements in the commons area that will be done to reduce the cost of the project in the commons. Foster said that the largest cost reductions was being done in the library area however much of the library will look drastically different.

“It is a good compromise,” school board member Andrew Oemig said. “Nothing is set in stone, but I like what you have done.”

Dodgeland School Board President Dave Beal agreed and said that it fit into the amount that a majority agreed on for the project.

“The project focuses on the maintenance and educational needs as identified by the survey,” school board member Jeffrey Caine said.

The spring election will be held on April 7.

Follow Terri Pederson on Twitter @tlp53916 or contact her at 920-356-6760.

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