Current Facilities Info

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Please use this page to keep up to date regarding our current facility conversations.  What is most important to us is that you get your questions answered and feel informed regarding our greatest areas of needs and the potential solutions when you go to the polls on November 3rd. 

We have two informational meetings scheduled in the coming weeks that you can attend from the comfort of your own home.  We will be onsite at the High School and Forrest Street Early Learning Center and will also provide a tour as well as answer any questions you have.

Wednesday, Septemeber 30 @ 6PM  - Meeting Link

Tuesday, October 20 @ 6PM -
Meeting Link

While many of you have spent time in our buildings over the years, the areas that are in greatest need are not in the open public areas.  In an effort to help you see what our challenges are in the lower level of the High School, as well as the areas at Forrest Street Early Learning Center, we put together a video that shows you imagery from the areas that are included in the referendum resolution.

VIDEO TOUR LINK

The Referendum Fact Sheet is a great resource to see all of the details of the projects that are included in the proposed project.  It provides a great amount of rationale, some great visuals, and information on the costing.  

REFERENDUM FACT SHEET

As always, if you have any questions about this project, or anything else within the District, please don't hesitate to ask!

Message from Dr. Severson
I'd like to share some thoughts regarding why we are asking you, at this very unusual time, to allow us to make a long term
investment into our school facilities.  When the previous referendum was successful in 2014, that was the first positive referendum in twenty years in our community.  We have been so appreciative of this support and believe strongly that our beautiful new additions to our facilities have brought a great sense of pride to the community.  We have heard from some of our major employers in town that the updated Red Creek Elementary school has been a factor in their recruitment for employees with families.  This is absolutely a part of the role schools are supposed to serve in their communities! 


I am now beginning my eighth year as the Superintendent of schools in this wonderful community and there is one important aspect that I hope most of the community recognizes about my leadership; I want input!  I don’t believe that leadership is trying to convince everyone else that my idea is the right one, but instead it is seeking input and facilitating conversations so that the best solutions rise to the top.  When it comes to our school facilities, this is exactly what we are trying to do!


As homeowners and renters, we know that there are infrastructure systems in our homes and our places of business that need a major investment over time, our schools are no different.  With careful preventative maintenance you can often stretch the life of these systems, but in the end they will need replacement.  While it hurts to have to make the larger expenditure, it is often exciting to see the increased efficiency and improved climate within the buildings after that investment.  When it comes to the high school boiler, brand new in 1962, we are at this point.  They no longer make parts for this boiler, we have to have any replacement parts custom created at this point.  It was installed when Black River Falls High School was brand new and has served a long and useful life!  As the rest of the building has undergone several renovations, the filling in of the courtyard to add classrooms and the addition of the West Gym and the LMC, there have had to be adjustments to that original system.  It is not efficient and is at the end of its life.  When we talk about re-piping the entire high school to use hot water instead of steam, putting in a new energy efficient system that will reduce our energy consumption and costs, we are talking about millions of dollars.  Sadly, this is before we’ve done any of the fun stuff in creating some exciting new learning spaces for our growing music, art, and family consumer science departments at the high school and upgrading some much needed spaces at Forrest Street.


In our last referendum survey the community told us that taking care of our imminent elementary needs was our first priority.  We’ve done that, and now we are coming back with the rest of the conversation.  


So why now?There may be stimulus funds available for projects that are ready to take off as the world starts to right itself.  Interest rates are at near historic lows, last time around this saved our community $2.6 million in interest costs, we’d love to capitalize on this opportunity again!  Additionally, the infrastructure cannot continue to wait.  The fact that we have positioning the District and our community to be able to wrap any new debt around our current debt payments without realizing any increase in taxes for debt payment makes this an ideal opportunity to be asking this question.


Back to the hallmark of my leadership; it’s my job to give the community the information, seek input, and then provide recommendations to the Board of Education.  This is me working to educate you. Thank you for the fantastic response rate on the survey. Please click the link to the above to see the full report. The Board of Education reviewed this report in July and voted unanimously to approve a resolution for the November 3rd election ballot. Please continue to share your thoughts on this process - your opinion matters!


Dr. Shelly Severson
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