Waunakee schools asking voters for $47 million in improvements

Money would go to build one new school, renovate two others
Waunakee schools asking voters for $47 million in improvements

Waunakee school leaders said overcrowding mixed with a  huge population boom, means they need $47 million to build a new school and more classrooms.

“The growth is continuing to come. We’re seeing more and more homes that are coming into our community, and with those homes, we’re seeing a lot of younger families with children,” Superintendent Randy Guttenberg says.

Currently the Intermediate School is attached to Heritage Elementary. Guttenberg said the shared space is badly cramped and crumbling.  About $45 million would go to build a new intermediate school for fifth and sixth graders, expand and renovate Heritage Elementary and add new classrooms to Prairie Elementary.

Guttenberg said the plan improves so much over previous plans that failed in both 2009 and 2010 that their survey shows 74 percent of residents now support it.

“(We) put together a very comprehensive plan that shows not only the first phase of this long range plan, which will be what they’re voting on this fall, but also the next stages as well if we follow through with the plan that’s being put in place,” Guttenberg said.

At an open house Thursday night, not all residents attending were in line with supporting the plan.

“They’re building a new intermediate school for grades 5 and 6. But not 7 and 8? Those kids have to go somewhere after two years,” Waunakee resident Hal Wissink said.

If voters approve the measure Nov. 4, it would add $91 per $100,000 of assessed property for the next 20 years.