Shorewood School District Board of Education Approves April 2, 2019 Referendum

After nearly three years of assessment, master planning and extensive input from the community and staff, the Shorewood School District Board of Education last night unanimously approved two referendum questions for the Tuesday, April 2, 2019 Spring Election ballot that address critical facility needs at all school buildings. District residents will have the opportunity to vote on two questions:
  • Question #1 - $65M for District-wide Facility Projects: Approval of this question would authorize the District to borrow funds (not to exceed $65 million) to address critical capital projects across the District, including: safety and security, Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) accessibility, building systems and infrastructure, and targeted instructional space improvements.

  • Question #2 - $275,000 Recurring Revenue Limit Extension: Approval of this question would provide additional and ongoing annual funding for District-wide facility costs so we may continue to maintain Shorewood’s historic schools.
If approved by voters, the collective impact of the two questions on the projected mill rate increase over the current rate is approximately $0.31 per $1,000 of Fair Market property value, or $31 per year for every $100,000 of property value.

“To carry on the legacy of our District’s founders, and as stewards of our beautiful, historic buildings in Shorewood, we as a community are responsible for their care, safety improvements, accessibility, and infrastructure renewal,” said School Board President Paru Shah. “The proposed ballot questions allow us to address our most critical facility needs and then to maintain these improvements moving forward.” Shah also noted that “the District has taken a careful, community-centered approach to facilities planning and we sincerely appreciate the deep engagement of District residents and staff as we have moved through every step in this process.”

The facilities work included in Question #1 will address critical infrastructure needs at all four schools, including improvements to academic classrooms and support areas in both elementary schools, and the renovation and expansion of the Main Academic Building at the high school. The revenue limit increase in Question #2 will help ensure that these facility improvements are maintained in the future.

The facilities planning process began in February 2016, when the District hosted a community summit titled Shaping the Future of Shorewood Schools, attended by over 100 community members over three days. “Modernizing and Maintaining Our Historic Schools” was one of the top five priority themes identified at the summit. Shorewood is home to four historical schools, three of which are more than 90 years old. Since 2016, the District has engaged in a comprehensive facilities plan to address priority needs at all four schools.

The proposed referendum plan:
  • Impacts all students and all schools in the District;

  • Demonstrates fiscally responsible stewardship of our historic buildings;

  • Provides safe, accessible, and energy-efficient learning spaces;

  • Provides a community-driven solution to current and future needs.
In the coming weeks, the District will host informational sessions and school tours, and mail referendum information to all District residents. Detailed background on the facilities planning process, the School Board’s work, the complete facilities assessment, frequently asked questions, and community survey results is available on the District’s website at www.shorewood.k12.wi.us/facilities/. Additional information about the April 2, 2019 referendum, including preliminary site plans, a summary of the proposed projects per building, dates and times for informational sessions and school tours, and voting information, will also be added in the coming days.