Frequently Asked Questions

WHY IS THE SCHOOL DISTRICT GOING TO REFERENDUM AGAIN?

The district has completed phase one of the identified building needs and is ready to address the final phase of needs that were identified by the Facility Advisory Committee in 2015. Due to increased state aids and favorable bond rates, the overall tax levy actually decreased after the last referendum. With the high school bond expiring in the coming year and bond rates remaining at historic lows, now is a perfect time to address the remaining identified needs, while keeping the tax impact low. In addition, we likely will not have another opportunity to acquire the land to the east of the high school.  



WHY ARE THERE TWO QUESTIONS INSTEAD OF ONE?

State law requires the District to have separate questions due to the type of question being asked. The first question provides the school board with the authority to proceed with a school construction/renovation project through long-term financing (issuing debt) such as the issuance of general obligation bonds. The second question provides the school board with the authority to increase its annual operating budget  (increase the revenue cap) by a specific dollar amount on a recurring basis. If approved, the operational referendum would provide funding for maintenance, staffing and equipment.



WHAT DOES THE OPERATIONAL FUNDING QUESTION MEAN?

The operational funding question allows the school district to increase its’ overall budget by $300,000 per year above the current revenue limit. This increase is being requested to pay for increased costs associated with the addition of the agricultural building, multi-purpose athletic facility and fields and related utilities, maintenance and upkeep.



WHY DOES THE DISTRICT WISH TO PURCHASE LAND EAST OF THE HIGH SCHOOL?

It is not often that schools have land available for purchase adjacent to their property. If we do not purchase the land now, we will be land locked. With the Market Street expansion it is critical that we acquire the land now, as the plot of land will soon be divided in a way that will not be as conducive to school use in the future.


Our district has nearly doubled in size since the current high school field space and building space was established. With the growth we have experienced we are severely lacking green space.



WHY DOES THE SCHOOL DISTRICT NEED TO PAY FOR A PORTION OF THE MARKET STREET DEVELOPMENT?

The school district currently owns  a portion of the land (middle school property) in which Market Street will be expanded. Therefore, we are obligated to pay for development of any portion of the road which exists on district property. If approved by voters, and when the district acquires additional land adjacent to the high school, the city will work with the district to determine a fair assessment for the development of any portion of Market Street within the newly acquired  property.



HOW MUCH OF THE PROPOSED REFERENDUM IS FOR ATHLETICS?

All spaces being created or improved will be used for academic and community purposes as well as athletics. To say that a certain percentage is solely for athletics would not be accurate.



WHAT IS INCLUDED IN THE REFERENDUM AND HOW MUCH WILL IT COST?

Click here to see the conceptual budget outline.



WHAT IS INCLUDED IN THE ATHLETIC FIELD UPGRADES?

  1. Four full size practice/competition/recreational grass fields to be used for outdoor sports such as soccer, football, and rugby

  2. Two softball fields

  3. Artificial turf on the football field to extend playing season, access to multiple sports  and lower maintenance/upkeep costs

  4. Resurfacing the track to improve function and safety

  5. Small putting/chipping practice green for golf



WHY ARTIFICIAL TURF VS. GRASS?

Currently the field use is only available for football games so that the district is able to adequately maintain the grass. Artificial turf, using a sand based (not crumb rubber) fill would allow the field to be used year round for physical education classes, multiple sports and other activities for the school and community. In essence, one turf field can provide significantly more usage than one grass field whose use is subject to the elements and ground conditions. Because of the shortage of green space it is critical to have at least one artificial surface. Also, ongoing maintenance costs of an artificial turf field are less than grass.



WHY IS THE MULTI-USE ATHLETIC CENTER NEEDED?

When the current multi-use athletic space was created the high school enrollment was nearly half the size it is now. It is far too small to meet the needs of a high school of 900+ students. The proposed addition would include a fitness training space more than double the current size, as well as include a multi-use space to be used year round for students, clubs and the community. The addition would provide space that would free up the Suchy Gym for basketball and winter baseball/softball training. The additional space will have positive ripple effects throughout the entire community as after school clubs and organizations will have more access to inside spaces during our long winters.



HOW WILL TRAFFIC FLOW BE IMPROVED AT THE MIDDLE SCHOOL?

Parking will be expanded and integrated with Market Street, providing safe, independent access for buses and parents.



HOW WILL THE DISTRICT UTILIZE THE UNFINISHED SPACE AT THE 1887 BUILDING?

The 1887 building is used as a central meeting location and training facility for the school district. The district needs more space in order to accommodate our growing school district. In addition it would complete the restoration of the 1887 building.

 


WHAT IS THE PRELIMINARY CONSTRUCTION SCHEDULE?

Click here to see the proposed project schedule.



HOW WILL AN APPROVED REFERENDUM IMPACT MY TAXES?

If approved by voters, the property tax increase for question 1 is estimated to be $8  per $100,000 of property value ($.67 per month) and question 2 is estimated to be $17 per $100,000 of property value ($ 1.42 per month).  When combined, this represents a total of $25 per year for both questions per $100,000 of property value.  If approved, taxpayers will first note the increase on the December 2016 tax bill.



HOW DO I VOTE?

To learn about voting requirements, polling locations, absentee ballots, and early voting, click here.