Parkview presents building options a second time

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Catherine W. Idzerda
Sunday, November 17, 2013

ORFORDVILLE—When Parkview School District Superintendent Steve Lutzke scheduled Sunday's meeting, the Green Bay Packers were scheduled to play at 7:30 p.m.

After the meeting had been scheduled and all the informational fliers had gone out, the Packers' game was moved to 3:25 p.m.

That might have been a reason significantly fewer people turned out for Sunday's meeting to hear the school district's referendum presentation.

About 40 people attended—compared to more than 100 for the first meeting—to hear district officials and staff talk about building needs.

The district's three buildings are aging. Space needs have changed, officials said.  

In the late 1950s and early 60s when the buildings were constructed, there were no special education students, no computer labs, libraries were for books and the school buildings were used just as schools, not as community centers. In addition, there were no junior high sports and very few girls' sports.

In addition, aging buildings mean ineffective heating and non-existent cooling systems and windows, as well as roofs and parking lots that need to be replaced.

At Parkview Elementary alone, required upgrades would cost $1.09 million.

The district's long-range planning committee worked for more than a year, and came up with three options.

The first, which is the committee's preferred option, would include closing Parkview Primary School, converting Parkview Elementary into a junior high and high school and converting the existing junior high and high school into a 4-k tthrough sixth grade facility.

The cost is estimated at $17 million.

The other two options include:

—Remodeling and expanding Parkview Elementary to house 4-year-old kindergarten through third grade. Fourth grade through 12th grade would be housed at what is now the junior high/high school building. Parkview Primary would be closed.

The cost would be about $20 million.

—Renovating the junior high/high school building, Parkview Elementary and Parkview Primary. No grades would be moved between buildings.

The cost would be $7 million to $9 million.

During the comments session, Marge Harker, a retired math teacher, said that many people her age were telling her that they would vote, “no” because they didn't want their taxes to go up.

Harker said she didn't want her taxes to go up either, but she supports the referendum.

“If you favor one of these projects, you have to get out and vote,” Harker said. “You can't just sit back.”

Another resident said he thought the school district should just focus on academics, and leave sports and similar activities to be run through clubs.

After that first meeting, participants filled out a survey indicating whether they would vote yes on one of the three options on the table. The majority said they would, Lutzke said after Sunday's meeting.

The long-range planning committee will gather responses from Sunday's meeting and decide how to proceed. If they do go forward with a referendum, it would most likely happen in April of 2014, Lutzke said.

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