The Milton School District’s Strategic Planning Committee of the Full Board will ask for community input this fall on a future referendum via two workshops scheduled tentatively for October and November.

During its meeting Thursday, the committee was presented a draft of a timeline for getting a facilities referendum on the spring ballot.

Dates on the timeline could change after further review from the board, but the committee unanimously backed two open workshops to gather community input on a new referendum.

The timeline also includes benchmarks the board and committee should meet at future meetings, per a request from multiple committee members last month.

A resolution for an April referendum has to be approved by Jan. 22.

The board saw two preliminary referendum options last month that included renovating and adding to Milton High School instead of putting up a new building.

The first option is estimated to cost about $87.8 million; the second has an estimated price tag of about $67.2 million.

Scott Kramer, partner and architectural leader from Plunkett Raysich Architects, said Thursday he did not expect either option to go to referendum without some projects being cut, which would reduce their costs.

What had yet to be determined was whether any option for a new high school was off the table for spring.

Committee chairman Brian Kvapil said he was not opposed to looking into an option that includes a new high school. He did say he was concerned about asking the community for more money than was requested in two previous failed referendums.

If last year’s $69.9 million referendum that included a new high school were on the ballot next spring, it would cost $77 million after adjusting for inflation, Kramer said.

Kvapil thinks cost was the driving factor behind past referendum failures.

Committee member Joe Martin disagreed. He said there were many reasons why people voted against the referendum apart from the tax impact.

Board member Diamond McKenna said residents were confused by last year’s referendum and did not have as many opportunities to give input as they did in 2016.

Ultimately, the committee chose to explore a third option that would include building a new high school.

Kramer said the committee needs to choose what other district projects they want to see accomplished in addition to the new school before they can draft a preliminary plan.

District Administrator Tim Schigur asked the committee to consider alternative plans for funding a new pool and a new football stadium.

Outside groups, like Friends of the Milton Pool, are willing to raise money and seek sponsorships to support these projects, but the groups need to be in communication with the board first to solidify plans.

The committee unanimously agreed any future facility resolution should include a new pool.

Committee member Tom Westrick said there will have to be further discussion on the stadium before decisions can be made.

Reporter - Milton, Edgerton, Albany, Brodhead, Evansville, Footville, Orfordville, health

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