Officials tout benefits of $3.5 million NOSD plan

School leader, residents say upgrades to outdoor facilities will help enhance community

NORTHERN OZAUKEE SCHOOL DISTRICT SUPT. Dave Karrels fielded a question Monday night during a public information meeting on the district’s planned $3.5 million outdoor facilities project. About 30 district residents attended the meeting at the NOSD Fine Arts Center. Photo by Eric A. Johnson
Ozaukee Press Staff

Northern Ozaukee School District Supt. Dave Karrels unveiled the district’s proposed $3.5 million phase-one outdoor facilities plan at an hourlong public information session in the Ozaukee High School Fine Arts Center on Monday night, officially kicking off an anticipated three to five-year fundraising campaign.

About 30 district residents attended the gathering, which included a 35-minute PowerPoint presentation by Karrels, a five-minute video and a closing 20-minute question-and-answer and public input session with Karrels and Ross Rettler, a landscape architect and partner with Stevens Point-based consultant Rettler Corp., a landscape architecture, engineering, land surveying and construction management firm specializing in athletic facilities.

“It was great to see a great turnout here tonight at our kick-off,” Karrels said in a post-event interview with Ozaukee Press. “We’re excited to have this as a springboard for what we want to do. We heard feedback from people that this is a good plan and a realistic plan.”

Proposed phase-one outdoor facility improvements include a new eight-lane running track and field event areas, synthetic turf multi-purpose athletic field, new grandstands and team benches, new stadium scoreboard, a high-visibility campus sign along Highway 57, an arched gated stadium entryway and a new multiuse building to house district maintenance facilities, concession stand and bathrooms.

“These kind of investments are important to us as a district and us as a community,” Karrels told those in attendance, noting the district had “really clear needs” to address in regard to its outdoor facilities, including a lack of outdoor athletic facility bathrooms, a “barely usable” outdoor running track, original district maintenance buildings in “very, very poor condition,” and a concession stand “in rough shape,” among other needs.

“We needed to move, think of the big picture.”

Proposed phase-two improvements, to be undertaken at a later date still to be determined, would include a new baseball and softball complex and practice fields.

Karrels said the phase-one improvements would bring Northern Ozaukee’s outdoor facilities in line with the campus’ long-range plan and allow it to expand the use of its stadium. In addition to being available for community use, a new facility would allow the district to host track meets, something it has been unable to do since 2016 due to deteriorating running track conditions.

Karrels said total cost projections for phase one are pegged by Rettler at $3.5 million. Less a $350,000 district contribution, a $3.15 million fundraising goal would need to be met by the Northern Ozaukee School District through a variety of fundraising efforts, including donations and naming rights.

Being “blown away” by the 64% voter support of the district’s successful $14.95 million referendum in 2018 to upgrade its elementary, middle and high school facilities, Karrels struck a bullish tone regarding the district’s prospects for meeting its $3.15 fundraising goal in support of the phase-one outdoor facility plan.

“It’s a tall task, but it’s something we’re excited about,” he said.

Village of Fredonia Trustee and Ozaukee County Board Supr. Joshua Haas, among those attending Monday night’s meeting, said in an interview that he liked the fact the phase-one outdoor facility plan will rely on private donations rather than tax dollars.

“I think that’s smart, looking outside of the tax base to find that funding, instead of keep coming back to the taxpayers to ask for more,” Haas said. “It sounds like they’ve got a good list of people that are interested in donating. I think it can be a successful fundraising campaign.”

Haas said he supports the plan as presented.

“It was a good presentation, and I was glad to see that they are taking a lot of community input, listening to the community,” he said. “We’ve got a real good group here — the superintendent does a great job, the school board’s a real great group.”

Also supportive of the plan was Town of Fredonia resident Jodi Mueller. 

“They’ve got a great vision for what we want to do in the future, and it’s gonna be hard to be patient and wait,” she said. “The plan looks good. I think they’re definitely thinking things through and not rushing into anything.”

For more information about the Northern Ozaukee School District’s Outdoor Facility Improvement Project, visit or contact Karrels at (262) 692-2489, ext. 402.



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Ozaukee Press

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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Port Washington, WI 53074
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