Board discusses community survey

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The Board of Education spent about 30 minutes discussing questions regarding the community survey results, which were presented on May 7, and learning more about the role they can play in the referendum process at its regular meeting on Monday, May 14.

The Board, based on comments from the survey, asked what it would cost to build a second high school Matt Premo of J.H. Findorff & Son used the new high school being built in Verona as a comparison and said a new one would cost around $150 million. The District would also need to purchase land if it built a second high school, which would push the cost to $160-170 million.

Superintendent George Mavroulis said the District has been working with Eppstein Uhen Architects, Findorff and high school administration to develop talking points that detail the programming and cost benefits of one high school.

Chris Michaud of EUA thought the survey results were very positive. EUA's Jackie Michaels noted there may be some potential new costs at the Pope Farm site based on discussions with the City of Madison and Town of Middleton but those won't increase the cost of the project.

Mavroulis noted School Perceptions' Bill Foster recommended a capital question of less than $140 milliion. Mavrouis said the high end doing four projects -- a new elementary school, a high school rebuild and expansion, a Park cafeteria and a Sauk Trail kitchen upgrade -- would be $151 million and low end would be $135 million.

"But we're close and I don't see a huge number of changes that need to be made,'' Michaud said.

Premo said the ranges for every potential project are still solid and don't need to be adjusted. He also said the ranges will narrow over the next couple of months.

Mavroulis said the District continues to work on how much will be on an operational question but that i will be within the $3-5 million range that was included in the survey.

Findorff's Christin Mlsna and EUA's Andy Lyons also briefly reviewed a number of documents that were included in the Board agenda about what can and can't be communicated during a referendum.
 
Lyons said there are some easy rules, stressing Board members can't advocate using school resources or use public funds to support or oppose a referendum. He also suggested not using District e-mail, along with paper or hard copies, for or against a referendum.

He said Board members, along with District staff, can advocate during their own time but need to make clear they are doing so as a parent or resident.   
 
In other news from Monday's meeting:
 
* The Board recognized students who were state award winners from the Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA), the Family Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) and forensics, along with Chloe Cole and Natalie Cho, who took first place in the Hospitality Services Team event at the International Career Development Conference in Atlanta in April. Advisers for each of the clubs also attended.

* The Board approved the administration contract from CESA 2 for the 2018-19 school year.

* The Board approved the Wisconsin OPEB Trust Agreement and single advisory contract.

* The Board approved a contract with CESA 5 an itinerant teacher to work with the deaf and hard of hearing for the 2018-19 school year.

* The Board approved intergovernmental agreements with the City of Middleton and Village of Cross Plains for school resource officer services at MHS, Kromrey and Glacier Creek for the 2018-19 school year. The Board asked questions about what would happen if the District backed out of the agreement or how to cover the position when the SRO is gone for training.