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MMSD to hold Facebook Live sessions on referendum beginning this week

MMSD to hold Facebook Live sessions on referendum beginning this week

MADISON SCHOOLS (copy) (copy)

One of the science rooms at East High School in Madison, on February 12, 2020, which could be remodeled under a successful capital referendum.

With Election Day seven weeks away, the Madison Metropolitan School District is preparing to discuss the projects in its capital referendum over the next few weeks.

District staff will hold a series of Facebook Live sessions beginning this Wednesday, Sept. 16, to focus on each of the high school projects included in the $317 million ballot question, which is one of two referendums on the Nov. 3 ballot. Those who plan to vote absentee will be receiving ballots in the coming weeks and can vote ahead of Election Day.

The capital referendum question includes money to renovate each of the four comprehensive high schools, consolidate Capital High School into one building and build a new elementary school in the Rimrock Road neighborhood. Each of the upcoming informational sessions will focus on the projects at one of the high schools, with all streaming from 5-6:30 p.m. on the district’s Facebook page:

There will be additional sessions for those interested in more discussion, with one on Capital High School on Sept. 17 and a “Teletown Hall” event on Oct. 7. Both of those will begin at 6 p.m.

The $317 million ask is among the largest in the history of the state, according to state Department of Public Instruction data. It is surpassed only by Racine’s barely approved $1 billion question in April, which won by five votes, and Milwaukee’s $366 million 1993 question that failed.

[New Madison elementary school would go on Badger Rock site if referendum approved]

Each of the comprehensive high schools would receive about $70 million for renovations under the plan, while the other funds would go toward the Capital High move, elementary school construction and $2 million earmarked for sustainability projects.

The second question on the ballot would provide MMSD with additional revenue authority above the state-imposed limit, phased in over four years. It would provide an additional $6 million in year one, an additional $8 million in year two, another $9 million in year three and $10 million more in year four. The district would then be able to surpass the revenue limit by $33 million in perpetuity thereafter.

The facilities referendum would add an average of $50 per $100,000 of property value each year in taxes for homeowners over its 22-year payoff period, according to the district. The operating referendum would add about $103 per $100,000 of property value in property taxes by the time it reaches year four, rising incrementally each year.


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