While Milton school district eyes third referendum try, students share their opinions
MILTON, Wis. — The Milton School District is one step closer to a third try at a facilities referendum.
Earlier in the week, the school board directed district administrators to draft a facilities referendum for the high school, middle school, and all four elementary schools that would cost just shy of $60 million.
The plan, which would include facilities upgrades at each school and address problems with overcrowding, has been presented to the district twice before, but has failed due to concerns with tax increases that would come along with them.
Superintendent Dr. Tim Schigur is hopeful that this time can be different, however.
“What is different this time around is that the community, the staff and the board have really wrapped around the table and have embraced the conversation,” he said.
Schigur says that while there are some in the community opposed to the plan, seeing other Rock County districts come forward to pass referendums during the November election is a good sign.
“Seeing how other communities have passed referendums makes me optimistic, and it gives us a lot of good feeling about what people are doing around us,” Schigur said. “It helps us to feel good about our process and…hopefully that support would be there for Milton.”
For seniors at Milton High School, a referendum in the spring would mark the third time they’ve seen one during their high school career. While they know opposition to the plan isn’t personal, they say it can still be frustrating.
“I know people don’t vote no because they don’t care about kids. I know there’s other reasons, financial reasons,” said senior Anna Quade. “But when no one can agree, there’s constant arguing, and no one can compromise, it really does feel like the community doesn’t care about the kids here.”
Quade says she’s seen how the lack of space at Milton High School has hurt
“The physical layout of the school is becoming a burden,” she said. “It’s defining what we can do academically in some senses, and that’s not good.”
Other students it can be frustrating watching the school board struggle to come to an agreement on a plan.
“If they could just look past their own opinions to the greater community, to the greater community’s opinion, I really think we could make a solution that could work for everyone,” said junior Miles Stuckey.
Stuckey says he feels as if an investment to the schools is an investment in the town itself.
“As soon as Milton has the proper facilities to be able to host large events and businesses start to come in to support those people, then the town makes more money,” he said.
While Stuckey and Quade would both likely graduate before they’re able to take advantage of any improvements a possible referendum could bring with it, they say it will be worth it for the next generation of students.
“I want every kid who comes through this school to have the same opportunities as me, to have better opportunities than me even,” Quade said.
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