Referendum questions win with large margins

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Voters in the school district spoke loud and clear on Tuesday night.

Both referendum questions on the general election ballot passed with more than 60 percent. The capital question of $59.8 million to rebuild and expand Kromrey and expand Glacier Creek passed with more than 68 percent of the vote, while the operational question of $797,000 passed with nearly 64 percent of the vote.

Under the plan, fifth-graders will move to both middle schools starting in September 2014. That will help alleviate overcrowding at all six of the district's elementary schools.

“Such an overwhelming vote is a real plus,'' Board of Education president Ellen Lindgren told the Wisconsin State Journal. "It shows the community really supports our schools.”

Construction at both facilities is expected to begin immediately after school finishes in June 2013. No students will be displaced during the 2013-14 school year while construction continues.

Kromrey will be completed in three phases. Phase One, which includes the fifth-grade wing, the cafeteria, music, band and other rooms, will be completed before the start of the 2014-15 school year, Community Relations Specialist Perry Hibner said. Phase Two, which includes the three-story middle school wing, will be completed by late November 2014, Hibner said, and students are expected to move into the wing after winter break.

At that point, the older portions of Kromrey will be demolished. Phase Three, which involves adding a second gymnasium and a fitness room, will begin after the demolition and be ready by the fall of 2015.

Besides fifth-grade classrooms, Glacier Creek will also gain an extra art, music and careers classroom, addtional cafeteria space and another gymnasium. All of the construction will be completed before the start of the 2014-15 school year, Hibner said.

"It was the right solution at the right time with the right messages,'' Hibner said.

Superintendent Don Johnson sent a message to staff on Wednesday morning.

"Your collective and individual efforts to get the word out, explain the needs, and remain positive in the face of challenged as our schools swelled with new students is a testament to the great school system we have,'' he said.
Related Links

Wisconsin State Journal story on the vote

Dane County final referendum election results