Referendum questions approved

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Area residents overwhelmingly approved the two Middleton-Cross Plains Area School District referendum questions on the Nov. 6 general election ballot.

The capital question, which asked for $138.9 million, was approved by 69.6 percent of the nearly 23,000 District residents who voted on Tuesday. The operational question, which asked for $4.8 million, was supported by 69.2 percent of voters.

"I know how much this community values education," Superintendent George Mavroulis told the Wisconsin State Journal. "Everything we put on the ballot was community driven and community supported before we ever went to the ballot."

Residents in seven of the eight municipalities that make up the District supported the referendum questions. More than 70 percent of voters in the City of Middleton and City of Madison supported the two questions, while the Town of Westport (69 percent), Village of Cross Plains (64 percent), Town of Middleton (65 percent), Town of Cross Plains (58 percent) and Town of Springfield (57 percent) all overwhelmingly approved the two questions.

The only municipality that didn't surpass 50 percent was the Town of Berry, where 46 percent of the 338 who voted did approve the two questions.

The capital question included:

  • building a new elementary school adjacent to Pope Farm Conservancy.
  • renovating and expanding Middleton High School; Clark Street Community School (CSCS) will be included in the new high school construction.
  • adding a cafeteria and renovating Park Elementary School.
  • converting the current CSCS building into an Early Childhood Center.

The operational question would be for $2.8 million in 2019-20 with the full amount going into effect in Year 2. It would allow the District to exceed the revenue limit and includes staffing costs and other operational expenses associated with the new and expanded facilities, technology upgrades and safety and security upgrades and equipment.

The new elementary school and Park cafeteria will be available for the start of the 2020-21 school year. The high school renovation and expansion will take place over two phases. The first phase, which will be built to the north of the current MHS building, will open for the start of the 2021-22 school year. The second phase, which will involve demolition of the oldest parts of the building that date back to 1929 and a second three-story addition on the south side of the building, is expected to open for the start of the 2022-23 school year.

Next steps include forming a committee of area residents to look at the District's internal boundaries and make recommendations to the Board of Education about having students attend one of the seven elementary schools and coming up with a name for the new school, Director of Communications Perry Hibner said.