UPDATE: Voters pass both school referendums for Howard-Suamico School District

Local News

HOWARD, Wis. (WFRV) – Voters in Howard have passed both referendum questions. Question 1 asked to exceed revenue limits and question 2 asked to spend $98 million on building improvements. You can see the results more in-depth in the link below.

Howard-Suamico School District asks voters to invest in their school system

HOWARD, Wis. (WFRV) Voters in the Howard-Suamico School District are being asked to invest in their school system. Here is more on the two referendum questions appearing on the ballot next Tuesday.

In the Howard-Suamico School District voters are being asked to renew and invest.

“You want to keep the quality teachers that you have,” said Angie Sorenson, principal at Forest Glen Elementary.

In an education system, with eight aging school buildings, that the district’s director of facilities says requires $98 million in improvements and repairs.

“Heating, ventilating and air conditioning upgrades as we talked about and primarily air conditioning at the four buildings that we don’t have,” said Al Behnke, HSSD’s director of facilities. “It’s a wide variety of things and again dealing with our most significant needs that we have at this time.”

The referendum has two questions. The first is do voters support the district exceeding revenue limits by $5 million each year for five years to support operational costs like facility maintenance and staff compensation .

“I want to be able to keep my teachers. I want to be able to keep the staff that I have in my building and across the district,” Sorenson said.

The second, do voters support a district request to spend $98 million on facility improvements, like fixing leaking windows and a worn roof at Forest Glen elementary.

“Raindrops on the heads of kids, raindrops on projects, we cover books, we cover materials,” Sorenson said.

And new gym space at Bay View Middle and Forest Glen elementary – while renovating Bay View’s old gym built in 1963.

“This is really going to become the new commons for the building, commons and kitchen,” said Behnke.

The last time the Howard-Suamico School District had a system-wide facilities referendum like this was 21 years ago when Bay Port High School opened up.

“We have beautiful buildings that we have invested in as a community. But they are older and there are problems that need to be solved,” said Amy Scheel-Jones.

Scheel-Jones is a member of a 40-person community task force that looked at the district’s request and determined it would be money well spent.

“I can speak from my own perspective that I will be voting yes,” said Scheel-Jones.

If both questions are approved, the tax levy rate would go down $.20 – its lowest rate in 12 years.

Roughly 30 school districts in the state are reaching out to their voters next Tuesday – asking them to support school referendums.

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