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Ellsworth School Board eyes facilities and revenue cap vote

The Ellsworth School Board Monday began preparing to present facilities and revenue cap questions for a vote by district residents early next year.

The board approved holding a referendum on the two questions on Feb. 18, 2014, in conjunction with the spring primary election. Superintendent Barry Cain reviewed information given members at last month’s regular meeting on the proposals.

The chosen facilities plan involves developing a campus at the schools in Ellsworth, topped by construction of a new, two-story 108,000 square foot elementary school. This would be built east of the high school and just south of Hillcrest Elementary School, which would be torn down. Other elementary-related facilities owned by the district would likely be sold.

Improvements to the middle and high schools would include security measures involving those schools’ front entrances, it was reported a month ago. A new community room would be created at the high school in the space presently occupied by the administrative offices, which would move to the new elementary school. There would also be upgrades to the grounds surrounding the buildings, complete with new accesses, additional recreation fields, new parking areas, separate bus loading and public drop-off/pick-up zones, new drainage sites and relocating the school bus garage.

Monday, arrangements for the garage relocation were furthered. After Cain discussed five potential sites for a district transportation and maintenance storage facility (acknowledging there may be others), the board approved having members Rick Kornmann and Doug Peterson join him in negotiating to purchase property for a location. Their efforts will be returned to the full board for action.

The revenue cap matter is presently envisioned as seeking authority to exceed the district’s cap by $800,000 a year for each of three years on a non-recurring basis, the superintendent said. This assumes budget cuts in years two and three, he added.

Also Monday, the board agreed to schedule a special meeting for next Monday at 5 p.m. in the high school library to discuss the finalized referendum questions.

For more please read the Nov. 13 print version of the Herald. 

Bill Kirk

Bill Kirk was editor of the Pierce County Herald in Ellsworth, from 1988 to February, 2015 and is now on staff as a reporter. He holds a bachelors degree in journalism from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. He previously worked in the media distribution department at the University of Minnesota's Minneapolis campus and is past editor of The Tri-County News in Osseo, Wisconsin.

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