Public to get closer look at school upgrade projects

NOSD officials will discuss facilities master plan during April 26 presentation at OHS
Ozaukee Press Staff

In advance of a public information meeting on the Outdoor Facilities Master Plan on Monday, April 26, in the Northern Ozaukee School District’s Fine Arts Center, Supt. Dave Karrels previewed the proposed PowerPoint presentation for the School Board this week.

“This will be a great opportunity to gather feedback and learn more about our fundraising campaign, including outlining our needs, solutions, and vision for the future of our outdoor facilities,” Karrels said of the upcoming presentation to district families and the larger district community. 

“We’re really proud of the direction we’re going — seeing excellence at all levels of our district. We take that seriously in regard to our building level goals and also what we’re doing at a district level.

“This, we believe, fits right into that — not settling for just a short-term fix but ... how do we make sure we have an outdoor sports complex that we can really be proud of that meets the needs of our students and our community.”

NOSD officials have finalized plans to update Ozaukee High School’s outdoor facilities. The 7 p.m. public information meeting will outline the district’s plans and serve as a springboard to formally launch a fundraising campaign in support of making the district’s Outdoor Facilities Master Plan a reality.

Karrels said work on the plan began in 2018 with discussions with district coaches on outdoor facility needs. 

Along the way, Karrels said the district contracted with Stevens Point-based Rettler Corp., an award-winning landscape design and architecture, civil engineering, and construction management firm.

“Just like when we started the referendum process we didn’t have all the answers, so it was important to rely on experts — what is the right direction to take with our outdoor facilities, how do we maximize the space we have, and how do we make sure we’re making decisions that are not only good for the next three to five years, but really long term when we look out 10, 15, 20 years from now,” Karrels said. 

Board Vice President Dan Large called the Outdoor Facilities Master Plan a “go big” plan that addressed a variety of district needs.

The multi-faceted project includes, among other things, an upgrading of the football field with a synthetic multi-purpose turf field, a new eight-lane running track and updated field events area, a gated stadium entryway to provide enhanced student and community safety, and installation of school signage along Highway 57.

The plan also calls for a new combined building to address maintenance department, stadium concessions, and stadium bathroom facility needs.

The proposed new track ringing the football field would allow the district to host race events for the first time since 2016, when deteriorating conditions took the district’s running track offline.

“There’s no doubt there’s a huge need.” Karrels said of the district’s proposed outdoor facility upgrades. “People don’t realize really how big the need is.” 

Board member Suzanne Miller agreed, calling the state of facilities such as the running track and the district’s deteriorating maintenance buildings “pretty embarrassing.”

Karrels said realization of the Outdoor Facilities Master Plan would fit the long-range planning of the campus, dovetailing nicely with building upgrades made possible by Northern Ozaukee’s successful $14.95 million building referendum in 2018.

In his presentation to the board, Karrels outlined a $3.5 million project. 

Less a $350,000 district contribution earmarked to upgrade the high school’s track as part of Northern Ozaukee’s building referendum, the district will be looking to realize a $3.15 million capital campaign fundraising goal.

Large said of the project and its fundraising focus, “The whole idea of this capital campaign is no tax money.”

“I’m excited about this capital campaign” said School Board President Brent Neis. “We have to push forward, have a positive attitude, and hit the goal.”



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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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