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Howard-Suamico School District unveils $13.4M April referendum


HOWARD, WI (WTAQ) - The Howard-Suamico School District will put a referendum out to voters on April 1st.

Superintendent Damian LaCroix says the total cost is $13.4 million.

"The Howard-Suamico School District is a regional leader and is in a position of strength, but we are not without needs," LaCroix said. "Now is the time for us to address these pressing needs."

The referendum is split into two questions: the first deals with those safety upgrades, infrastructure and increased space. The second question looks to renovate their 1970s era pool.

"First and foremost, addressing safety issues after a crisis is too late. Proactive security modifications to the entrances are critical today," said Assistant Superintendent of Business Services Betty Zimdars. "In addition to our safety and maintenance needs, space constraints are forcing unnecessary limitations to our students' educational experience."

The total price tag is $13.4 million, broken down to $9.9 million for the first question dealing with safety, instructional space and infrastructure and maintenance; and $3.5 million for question two for the pool renovation.

Officials say the impact on the projected investment cost for both referendum questions is $9 annually on a home valued at $100,000. That's $7 for the first question and $2 for the second.

"The Howard-Suamico School Board studied this issue with administrators very closely," said Howard-Suamico School Board President Mark Ashley. "We believe a $9 investment per $100,000 household is a reasonable and appropriate request that honors our community and district."

Here is the breakdown of the questions:

  1. First Question:
  • Safety Upgrades -- Bay Port High, Bay View Middle, Lineville Intermediate, along with Forest Glen and Suamico Elementary schools all seek safety improvements. District-wide door and lock security upgrades are included along with an addition for gym storage at Bay Port.
  • Increased Instructional Space -- The District seeks to repurpose space, and relocate the district office, at Lineville Intermediate School to develop additional classrooms to help accommodate an enrollment projected to reach over 900 students. At Bay Port High School, the plan is to create an orchestra rehearsal room to meet the demands of a rapidly growing program.
  • Infrastructure Maintenance and Improvement -- The District seeks to replace boilers at Suamico, Howard and Meadowbrook Elementary schools, improve restrooms at Bay View Middle, Lineville Intermediate and Suamico Elementary schools, address HVAC and kitchen/lunch room needs at Lineville Intermediate School, and enlarge the cafeteria at Bay Port High School.

      2. Second Question:

  • Pool Renovations -- The District believes the 1970's era pool at Lineville Intermediate requires updating. Building a new pool would cost twice as much as renovating the existing pool, so the District seeks to add two lanes and renovate the locker rooms to prolong the life and efficiency of their community resource.

Officials from the Howard-Suamico School District will host a community open forum on Monday, February 3, to discuss the referendum. The forum will be held at the Lineville Intermediate School Library from 6 p.m. until 7:30 p.m. The District also created a website here.