Jan. 14—CADOTT — The Cadott School District will ask voters to support a $9,965,000 referendum in the April election, with the money going toward renovations and an expansion of the high school/middle school building.
Superintendent Jenny Starck said the referendum would be paid off over 20 years. If it passed, that would mean a $3 annual increase on a home valued at $100,000, he said.
The high school/middle school building would get renovations ranging from adding air conditioning to the construction of a new career and technical education center, which would feature an auto lab, he said.
“It’s really trying to improve opportunities for kids,” Starck said Friday. “We’ll be able to do some phenomenal things for our students, at not a lot of cost. We’re hoping the (small increase in the tax rate) is a selling point.”
The space in the tech education wing is fairly tight, she said. If the measure passes, an expansion to the building will be built on the west side of the building.
In recent years, Eau Claire, Chippewa Falls and other nearby school districts have successfully passed referendums. Starck said he thought that would help convince voters the importance of a measure like this one.
“We did a community survey in October and asked them to prioritize needs,” Starck said. “It came back very favorable for these projects.”
If the referendum passes, “the bulk of the work will be done in summer 2024,” she said.
The Cadott School District has roughly 850 students across 14 grades, from pre-kindergarten to 12th grade. While the district loses more students to open enrollment than come in, Starck says this is the type of improvement that could be a draw.
“It will allow us to do a lot more for our students,” she said.
Renovations of the elementary school, located east of Highway 27, took place after voters approved a $9.56 million referendum in November 2012 for the upgrades to the school as well as fixing drainage issues on the football field and track. The track had fallen into such a disrepair that they had to cancel all their home tracks meets because it was considered unsafe for competition.
“The elementary is not paid off yet; it is scheduled to be paid off in 2032,” Starck said.
When the elementary school was remodeled, the district got a waiver from the state to start the school year in August 2013 so they could wrap up early, which allowed for a longer summer construction window beginning in May 2014. Starck said it is too early to know if a similar waiver will be sought on this project.