Nekoosa School District asks community to help meet needs
By City Times staff
WISCONSIN RAPIDS – For those who live in the Nekoosa School District, the April 7 ballot will include two referendum questions to accommodate need requests by the board of education.
“We need both the operational referendum and capital referendum,” said Nekoosa School Board President Brian Giese. “It is legally required that there be two questions however the only real question is the need for additional monies to compensate for the loss of revenues and the problems with the State of Wisconsin’s funding formula for school districts.”
The first question is a request to exceed revenue limits by $2,000,000 per year from the 2020-21 school year through the 2024-25 school year to add student services staff for struggling students, upgrade technical education area, improve current programs, add needed teaching staff, and grow enrollment through Wisconsin Individualized Selected Education Virtual School.
The second referendum questions would authorize bonding in the amount of $2,900,000 for improvements to the school athletic facilities.
“The last significant work done on the track was over 10 years ago – the track was re-skinned; however, due to issues with the base and drainage problems, it deteriorated very quickly,” Giese explained. “It was recognized at that time that significant work would need to be done on the infrastructure to provide for a suitable surface.
“The Varsity and JV softball dugouts were built in approximately 1985. One of the four had to be replaced due to structural damage from a vehicle approximately five years ago, but the others are in poor condition…”
“Much work needs to be done each year to maintain the field surfaces for baseball and football as they share surface. Each year the baseball outfield fences need to be removed to make room for football. Essentially the baseball outfield is used for both football and baseball. The result of this dual use is that the field conditions for both are compromised and require much additional maintenance to maintain every year and the result of all these efforts still provides for substandard playing surfaces.”
The school district is in the midst of three informational meetings, and other presentations, as they work to inform the public on the specified needs the referendum questions will cover.
The first informational meeting was held on Feb. 20 at Humke Elementary School.
“The first meeting we held on February 20 was well attended and there were some very good questions. Overall there was very good support for both referendums,” Giese added. “There have been and will be other meetings that we attend just to provide information to the interested parties within the community. We have visited with the Nekoosa City Council and Saratoga Town Board and have other meetings scheduled with the other townships just to provide a 15 to 20 minute informational presentation as well as answering any questions. These presentations differ from the informational sessions as scheduled.
“The two remaining informational meetings that we have scheduled are March 10 at the Rome Town Hall at 6:30 p.m. and then April 1 at 6:30 p.m. at the Nekoosa High School.”
For more information, visit https://www.nekoosasd.net/district/referendum.cfm.