Over the past 16 months, the School District of Poynette has been exploring the current and future use of facilities to develop a long-range master plan. In early 2017, the School Board commissioned a Facility Assessment by J.H. Findorff & Son Inc. (Findorff) to understand the current state of the District. After the report was presented to the Board in April 2017 and to the community that summer, the School Board approved the formation of a Community Facility Advisory Committee (Committee) to further examine the District’s needs.
A group of about 30 district residents from a variety of backgrounds (parents, non-parents, business owners, board members, and staff) make up the committee.
The committee’s charge has been to find a long-term solution that addresses as many of the district’s highest priority needs as possible, while being mindful of tax impact and affordability. Ultimately, they are tasked with presenting a final facility recommendation to the school board for further consideration.
A major milestone and goal for the committee has been to provide input and help inform a community-wide survey.
In early March, every District household received the survey that was based on the priorities the committee identified for potential project components. School Perceptions, a third-party survey consultant hired by the district, took the committee’s feedback and created the survey.
The survey sought community-wide input on the following priorities identified by the Committee:
• Building a new elementary school
• Prioritizing district-wide needs for possible phasing of solutions
• Gauging the community’s tax tolerance
• Gathering other important planning information
It’s important to note that while the survey included many potential projects for consideration, the Committee spent seven months reviewing a variety of other options that they ultimately eliminated from considerations. If you would like to review information from every committee meeting and the committee’s work including agendas, presentations, and meeting themes, please visit www.poynette.k12.wi.us.
At a joint School Board and Committee meeting on April 11, Bill Foster from School Perceptions delivered the results of the community-wide survey.
According to Foster, the overall response rate of 20 percent was very good and the data will be predictive based on the number of respondents. Other important data from the survey includes:
• 74 percent of resident respondents support the District exploring a referendum to update facilities
• 59 percent of resident respondents support building a new elementary school
• 70 percent of resident respondents support moving all students out of Arlington Early Learning Center into the new elementary school (if one is built)
• Respondents expressed strong support to improve high school safety and security and technical education spaces, as well as updating district-wide building infrastructure needs.
After School Perception’s presentation, the committee reviewed the information and came to consensus on potential elements that could make up their final facility recommendation.
A subcommittee has been formed to draft the committee’s recommendations based on the April 11 discussions. This small group of volunteers are working to create a short presentation that will be reviewed and approved by the entire committee April 25.
After the draft recommendation is approved by the committee, members of the subcommittee will deliver the final presentation at the May 21 School Board meeting. After further review and discussion, the Board will decide if a referendum will be placed on the November 2018 ballot.
Matt Shappell, District Administrator, stated, “I can’t thank the committee enough for their dedication to our district, and to the school board for the leadership and proactive planning for our future.”