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Johnson Creek, New Glarus voters reject school building project referendums

Johnson Creek, New Glarus voters reject school building project referendums

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Johnson Creek voters have frustrated at least one member of the School Board after they rejected a building plan for the third time in six years. 

The $29 million proposal called for the construction of one facility for the district's elementary, middle and high schools on 13 acres of district-owned land. 

Voters turned down a similar $21 million plan in 2005 and a year ago rejected a $20 million proposal for a new high school and middle school to replace facilities originally built in 1956 with additions in 1959, 1973 and 1981. 

"There really wasn't a lot of input from the community," said Rick Kaltenberg, vice president of the School Board. "Our question is, 'What do we do?' and no isn't an answer. We need the people of this community to step forward and talk to us and tell us what we're missing." 

In New Glarus, a $10 million referendum to add two classrooms to its crowded elementary school — built in 1958 and expanded in 1962 — and do major repairs to the roof and mechanical systems was solidly rejected. The plan also called for the addition of eight classrooms, more restrooms and a gymnasium to the high school/middle school building.

"It's disappointing," said Mark Romich, who did not seek re-election as School Board president. "Our space concerns aren't going to go away."

Voters in the northern Green County district also turned down a plan to exceed the revenue limits by $85,000 a year. 

Around the state, 26 school districts held referendums on Tuesday. The most expensive, a $128.5 million plan for the Racine School District, was defeated. 

The Poynette School District was given the go-ahead to spend $1.3 million for improvements. The plan at the high school includes mechanical, electrical and security upgrades, the addition of office space and the conversion of an office to a classroom. 

The Wisconsin Heights School District will exceed spending limits over the next two years, but voters in the Monroe School District overwhelmingly rejected a plan to exceed spending caps in each of the next four years.


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