Hortonville schools seek $54 million
Virtual meetings on referendum planned
By John Faucher
The first of two Hortonville Area School District referendum information meetings is set for Tuesday, March 9 at 6 p.m.
The meeting is a virtual and residents can sign on through the district’s website at hasd.org.
School officials presented an overview of its referendum to the Hortonville Village Board at the Feb. 18 village board meeting.
On April 6, residents of the Hortonville Area School District will have an opportunity to vote on two referendum questions aimed at addressing space and capacity challenges at the middle and high school levels.
District Administrator Todd Timm said the district has spent more than two years studying, planning and engaging the local community to identify solutions.
HASD has experienced a 15% growth in enrollment over the last 10 years.
Timm said based on the district’s recent third-party enrollment study, the district should anticipate steady growth of approximately 750 students over the next 15 years.
He told village board members they were already outpacing the predictions as the district added more than 200 students in just the last two years.
Last fall the district conducted a community-wide survey seeking feedback on proposed solutions for facility needs as well as input from taxpayers.
Financial information presented with the survey explained recent debt retirement and how the district has a window of opportunity to invest now with a minimal tax increase over current levels.
Seventy-three percent of all respondents supported the district in exploring an April 2021 referendum to update and expand schools.
Seventy-two percent of respondents said they will support a $41.8 million investment to fund updates at Greenville Middle School and Hortonville High School.
Fifty percent of respondents said they would support $12.2 million for constructing and equipping a multipurpose center addition at the high school.
The multipurpose center would be for school and community use.
Detailed plans for the proposed projects and referendum questions are available at the district website: www.hasd.org.
Question 1 will ask voters to borrow $41.8 million for constructing additions and renovating Hortonville High School and Greenville Middle School. Improvements would include safety and site improvements, furnishing, fixtures and equipment for the projects.
Question 2 will ask voters to borrow $12.2 million for constructing and equipping a multipurpose center addition at Hortonville High School.
The center would create space for year-round indoor student activities and community use.
The plan includes building the large multi-functional space for both school curriculum and expanded community recreation. It involves a relocated fitness center that eliminates community travel through school corridors and enhanced security.
The design includes secure entrances adjacent to parking areas and a physical education and athletic storage room and restrooms.
Why two questions?
Timm said the school board decided to provide separate questions and give residents the opportunity to learn about and vote on projects independently. He said the board would only move forward with the multipurpose facility if the community also supports Question 1.
Approval of question one would not increase taxes over the current 2020-21 mill rate.
If both questions pass the estimated increase would be 22 cents over the current mill rate.
March 24 meeting
A second referendum information meeting is scheduled at 6 p.m. March 24 in the high school commons. It will be an in-person only meeting and tours of the building are also available.