"We're talking about a system that is already over 50 years old," said Principal Sandy Beyer
Beyer said this is just one example of many much needed upgrades to the school. The asbestos flooring is peeling and the original single-pane windows are inefficient. Some have even been replaced with plastic.
"We have classrooms in the summertime when we have summer school as well as in May, June, August and September when they reach over 90 degrees," she explained. "That is not conducive to the learning environment. In addition, in the winter months we have classrooms that are freezing cold. We allow our students to wear jackets in the midst of the school day so that they can be comfortable in order to learn."
The district is asking the public to approve a $20 million referendum this spring. Just over $7 million would go towards fixing up Franklin Middle School. Washington Middle School needs $6.7 million in improvements. Fort Howard, Tank, Nicolet and Chappell elementary schools just over $8 million in improvements.
"The projects that we're presenting are larger projects that we cannot do with our normal maintenance budget," said Mike Stangel, the district's Director of Facility of Planning and Maintenance.
"We're sharing our need forward with our community," added Beyer.
The referendum will go to voters in the April 1st election. District leaders said there will be no increase in the tax levy if the referendum is approved.