Referendum

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Introduction

Vote April 3rd

In the School District of Beloit Turner, we are proud of the outstanding educational and co-curricular programs available to our students. While our focus will always be to provide a high-quality learning experience for our students, we also need to develop a plan to: 

  • Improve student and staff security;
  • Increase operational efficiencies;
  • Update and renovate classrooms; and
  • Update aging infrastructure that has exceeded its service life.

We believe this is a good time to consider our options because the District will soon be making the final payment on a loan associated with past building projects and interest rates continue to be at historic lows. 

To help accomplish this goal, a Citizens Facility Committee was formed in the Fall of 2016. The committee studied our schools’ maintenance and educational needs and identified potential projects which were then presented to the community through a survey. 

Community Survey

A community survey was conducted by School Perceptions in April/May 2017.

  • 861 responses
  • 21% participation rate
  • 83% of all respondents stated they were satisfied or very satisfied with the district
  • 54% of resident respondents advised the District to consider pursuing a referendum to improve our schools 
  • 53% of resident respondents advised the District to close Townview Elementary and build a new school
  • All residents rated the following middle/high school improvements as medium to high priority: expand/improve academic areas, updated electrical and plumbing system; and improve school security

Upon review of the survey results, the committee prioritized needs and identified a solution that reflects the priorities of the taxpayers and meets the needs of our students. 

The following solution was recommended to and approved by the Board of Education, and will appear on the November 6th ballot. 

Referendum Question

BE IT RESOLVED by the School Board of the School District of Beloit Turner, Rock County, Wisconsin, that there shall be issued, pursuant to Chapter 67, Wisconsin Statutes, General Obligation Bonds in an amount not to exceed $26,485,000 for the purpose of paying the costs of constructing a new elementary school; renovating the high school to expand programming in science, technology, engineering and math; and equipment acquisition related to said projects.

Shall the foregoing resolution of the School Board of the School District Turner be approved?

O Yes O No

What Differs from April 2018?

  1. Smaller investment in the new elementary school by building a single-court gymnasium and a separate multi-purpose room instead of a two-court gymnasium.
  2. Larger investment in safety and security improvements at Powers Elementary and the Middle/High School.
  3. Larger investment in Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math (STEAM) through the inclusion of new art spaces.

Open House Dates, Times, and Locations

Sunday, September 23 | 7:00 AM - 1 PM at Turner High School
Wednesday, October 24 | 6:30 PM at Turner High School Library
Thursday, November 1 | 6:30 PM at Turner High School Library

History

Below is an overview of what was done during this referendum process.

  • 28 Sept. 2016

    Meeting topics included: Review Charge and Expectations, Presentation of Community Survey, Presentation of Facilities Assessment, Presentation of Open Enrollment, Presentation of 21st Century Learning, Tour of Townview Elementary.

  • 5 Oct. 2016

    Meeting Topics included: School Finance 101 by Baird, Tour of Powers Elementary, Travel to Middle/High School, Tour of Middle/High School, Identification of Options and Solutions.

  • 19 Oct. 2016

    Meeting Topics included: Committee Documentation of Needs, Small Group Discussion of Needs, Identification of Options and Solutions, Small Group Discussion of Options and Solutions.

  • 2 Nov. 2016

    Began Preparation of Community Survey.

    Meeting Topics included: Review Updated Needs Summary, Review Initial Thoughts on Options and Solutions, Small Group Discussion of Options and Solutions, Narrow Options and Solutions to be Considered.

  • 7 Dec. 2016

    Meeting Topics Included: Review Updated Options and Solutions, Review Preliminary Budgets, Small Group Discussion on Options; Solutions; and Preliminary Budgets, Finalize Options to be Surveyed.

  • 4 Jan. 2017

    Meeting Topics Included: Review Final Options to be Surveyed, Review Updated Budgets, Review Draft Survey.

  • 25 Jan. 2017

    Meeting Topic Included: Review Draft Survey.

  • 22 Feb. 2017

    Meeting Topic Included: Review Final Survey.

  • 24 March 2017

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  • 7 June 2017

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  • 21 June 2017

    Citizens Facility Study committee finalizes their recommendation for presentation to the Board of Education.

  • 14 Aug. 2017

    Citizens Facility Study committee gives the board their final recommendation to move forward with a $26.8 million referendum to build a new elementary school and renovate the STEM facilities in the high school/middle school.

  • 18 Sept. 2017

    The board holds a special meeting to discuss in detail the facility study committee’s recommendation.

  • 9 Oct. 2017

    The board reviewed a draft resolution for a potential referendum.

  • 23 Oct. 2017

    The board votes to approve initial bond resolution and referendum resolution for $26.8 million to be voted on during the April 3rd 2018 election.

  • 3 April 2018

    The $26.8 million referendum failed to pass on April 3rd by three votes.

  • 13 Aug. 2018

    The board votes to approve initial bond resolution and referendum resolution for $26.485 million to be voted on during the November 6th 2018 election.

Need


Townview Elementary
serves approximately 350 students in 3rd–5th grade and is the District’s most inefficient building to operate:

  • The school has an aging septic and well system, and lacks high-speed internet access, both of which limit expansion without a significant investment.
  • The school is located on County Road Q which has a speed limit of 55 mph, creating safety concerns.
  • The plumbing and electrical systems are from the original building and have exceeded their service life, resulting in ongoing costly repairs.
  • The school lacks a dedicated cafeteria, resulting in lunch being served in the gym – requiring staff to set up and take down tables daily. 

Powers Elementary serves approximately 380 students in 4K–2nd grade. The facility analysis identified the following challenges:

  • Given the number of students currently being taught at Powers, many non-educational spaces – including closets and storage rooms – have been converted to small group instructional spaces to meet the needs of students.
  • In order to serve lunch, staff must setup the gym for multiple lunch periods each day. 

The facility study conducted in 2016 found need for the following improvements at the middle/high school:

  • Expand/improve academic and STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math) spaces
  • Update electrical and plumbing systems
  • Improve school security 
  • Renovate/expand cafeteria 
  • Expand gymnasium
  • Relocate the bus maintenance building 

Solution


New 2nd-5th Grade Elementary

  • Close Townview Elementary School. Solution 1
  • Build a new 2nd- 5th grade elementary on district-owned property Northwest of the high school, roughly a quarter mile from the police station.
  • The plumbing and electrical systems are from the original building and have exceeded their service life, resulting in ongoing costly repairs.
  • Move 2nd grade from Powers Elementary School to the new school, creating flexibility for educational curriculum delivery and 4-year-old kindergarten programming.

Middle / High School

Renovate Existing Technical Education Space

  • Middle School shop and classroomSolution MSHS
  • Fabrication Lab
  • Physics and Engineering Lab
  • Project-based/hands-on learning space adjacent to all major STEAM areas

Addition

  • High School technical education classroom 
  • Metal and wood shops with storage; visible and accessible from high school classroom
  • Art rooms  

Additional Renovations

  • Secure entrance enhancements
  • Expansion of physical education space for fitness equipment and storage
  • High school bleacher and gym floor replacement

Cost

Referendum Tax Impact