Poynette School District resident Sally Stewart sees a long road ahead in planning the future of facilities in Poynette School District, she said at a meeting Oct. 4. 

“I’m eager to start,” Stewart said. “…The solution will come from going through the process. The more people who get involved, the better our solution will be for the school and the community.” 

Stewart, whose children attend school in PSD, was one of around 30 people at the first Community Facility Advisory Committee meetings, the next step in a re-imagining of Poynette School District facilities that could result in a possible November 2018 referendum. 

Superintendent Matt Shappell said the school board sparked the planning process based on the results of a facilities study released in April. 

The study, conducted by J.H. Findorff & Son, Inc., said it would cost approximately $10 million dollars over 10 years to maintain the current facilities. The report pinpointed issues including insufficient space for students in the Arlington Early Learning Center and Elementary School classrooms and security concerns in front entrances. It also highlighted maintenance needs, such as aging roofing in the Elementary/Middle School and High School and outdated room unit ventilators in the Arlington Early Learning Center. 

Shappell said the student population dips up and down each year but remains relatively fixed. 

“We have flat enrollment, so when we are having these discussions tonight about the possible future of the facility, this is not because we are getting an influx of hundreds of kids every year,” he said. “This is about the kids we have now.” 

Representatives of architecture firm Plunkett Raysich Architects presented trends in “modern learning environments” and school trends, showing examples of spaces that mixed different teaching and learning styles – for instance, the flexibility to move between collaborative and individual lessons. 

During discussions at the end of the meeting, small groups wrote down what had “inspired” them from the meeting, and answered the question “How could our facilities better support teaching and learning?” 

Common themes included the need for more space for students and storage. Attendees also suggested creating collaborative workspaces in convenient areas, and designing the schools to accommodate different student learning styles.  

The Community Facility Advisory Committee is open to anyone in Poynette School District. The group is generally slated to meet every other Wednesday evening, tentatively continuing until March or April. If the committee recommends a referendum to fund facilities, the school board will have ultimate approval.  

For more information, including advisory committee agendas and the entire facilities study, visit the “Facilities” tab at www.poynette.k12.wi.us.

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