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Westosha-Central High School board to consider $39.6 million facility referendum

Westosha-Central High School board to consider $39.6 million facility referendum

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PADDOCK LAKE — The Westosha-Central High School board will consider Tuesday placing a $39.6 million facility referendum on the April general election ballot.

A resolution calling for the referendum is on the agenda for the 5 p.m. meeting in the All Purpose Room at the school, 24617 75th St. The meeting is open to the public and face masks are required.

Administrator John Gendron said the request is based on needs identified through a facility study. The referendum would seek electorate approval to borrow $39.6 million to:

Improve school security.

Replace building infrastructure that has reached the end of its service life.

Renovate classrooms and create spaces for student collaboration and small-group instruction.

Expand and modernize educational support areas.

Convert the current cafeteria into a permanent auditorium.

Provide additional gymnasium and weight/fitness space for school and community use.

The estimated tax impact of the project would be 68 cents per $1,000 of equalized property value, or $136 on a $200,000 home.

“A successful referendum puts the mill rate at the same level the district was at in 2017-18,” Gendron said, adding the district has the lowest mill rate among all of the Union High School districts in the Southern Lakes Conference.

Following the study, the district partnered with School Perceptions to create and send a community survey to gather feedback on the proposed projects and tax impact.

The results showed:

Sixty-four percent of all resident respondents support the referendum to fund the projects.

Security enhancements, updating building systems/roofing, and renovating and modernizing classrooms were supported at the highest rates.

If the election was held today, a $39.6 million referendum would likely be successful.

Gendron said if the board votes to proceed with the referendum, there will be community presentations, district mailings and question/answer opportunities in an effort to educate the public about the need for the project and its cost.

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