referendum INFO board erected at POYNETTE Bank

Poynette School District Administrator Matt Shappell erects an information board regarding the Nov. 6 referendum at United Community Bank in Poynette. “My job is to get the information out so people can make their own informed decisions,” Shappell said. More information regarding the referendum will be presented at two open houses: Tuesday, Sept. 25 from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at the elementary/middle school located at 108 N. Cleveland St., and Wednesday, Oct. 3, from 6 to 7:30 p.m., at the Arlington Early Learning Center, 307 Bullen Road.

The Poynette School District is moving forward with plans to construct an elementary school and provide upgrades to the middle and high school following a successful referendum earlier this month.

The district school board met Nov. 19 and heard from Baird Financial, the firm handling bond procedures for the $28 million project. According to district documents, Baird is looking into a 20-year payment plan and hopes to maximize pricing flexibility with an initial bond anticipation note.

The board is set to meet and adopt bond parameters during its Dec. 17 meeting and will likely conduct a bond rating conference call in February.

Voters approved the project Nov. 6 with 63 percent support. The Arlington Elementary School will be phased out of classroom use, and a new elementary school will be constructed west of Highway 51 on district-owned land.

Other upgrades from the referendum include: safety and security upgrades at Poynette High School; general building improvements district wide; and updating science, technology, engineering, art/agriculture and mathematics (STEAM) classrooms and labs at the high school.

With the new elementary school slated for construction and Arlington set for a phase-out, students in lower grades will no longer travel to the high school to attend certain classes.

Fifth through eighth grades will be located at the current middle school.

To help guide the process, a Community Advisory Committee was formed in October 2017. The group met twice a month for seven months and compiled a running list of campus deficiencies. The committee provided a number of options for the school district to consider addressing those deficiencies.

Those options, plus results from a community survey, formed the basis of the $28 million referendum question. It was the largest referendum passed in the Poynette School District in at least 20 years.

When the district bonds the project, the owner of a $300,000 home can expect to pay about $420 in additional annual levies.

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