School referendum goes to NOSD voters

Fate of $14.95 million plan for district upgrades to be decided on April 3

A CONCEPTUAL SITE PLAN of the Northern Ozaukee School District’s $14.95 million referendum details elements of the proposal, which includes updates to classrooms and technical education spaces, construction of a new cafeteria, auditorium renovations and facility site improvements. Residents will decide the fate of the project in the Tuesday, April 3, election. The No. 1 designation shows the locations of proposed classroom updates, No. 2 for facilities and grounds updates, No. 3 for cafeteria and kitchen improvements, and No. 4 for auditorium renovations.
By 
JOE POIRIER
Ozaukee Press Staff

After months of feedback from community members, the Northern Ozaukee School District has crafted its $14.95 million school facilities referendum to meet the needs of taxpayers.

Voters will decide the fate of the spending plan in the Tuesday, April 3, election.

The estimated property tax increase to support the school projects has a mill rate of 37 cents, which means the owner of a $200,000 home would pay an additional $74 in taxes annually.

According to the district officials, the referendum is critical for improving school facilities, which includes updates to classrooms, grounds, auditorium and cafeteria.  

Supt. David Karrels said the district sees a growing need to educate students in areas of construction and manufacturing because of an increase in demand for jobs in those fields.

Updates to the classrooms would include new technology and remodeling technical educational spaces. 

Science and chemistry labs would also be renovated to support hands-on learning opportunities.

Some of the district’s infrastructure is from the original construction that occurred more than 50 years ago, which has resulted in costly repairs to sustain the school’s maintenance.

Plans include upgrading the electrical-service system, replacing leaking roof sections and the heating and ventilation equipment. 

The cafeteria and auditorium currently share the same space, which is too small to meet the needs of the student population. Due to space limitation, lunch is served during multiple periods, which has created scheduling conflicts. 

The referendum will allow the district to create a new cafeteria that will have designated areas for different grade levels. The space would also be used for large group instruction and community events.

Karrels said construction for the cafeteria would occur when school is out so students’ safety and lunchtime wouldn’t be impacted by the work.

If the referendum is passed, the district would issue two phases of bonds to pay for the projects and the borrowing would be paid off over a 20-year period. 

Karrels said that if the referendum passes, the district will begin a bidding process with local contractors for certain parts of the project to start this summer.

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Wisconsin’s largest paid circulation community weekly newspaper. Serving Port Washington, Saukville, Grafton, Fredonia, Belgium, as well as Ozaukee County government. Locally owned and printed in Port Washington, Wisconsin.

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