Current Facilities Information

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 that we make decisions based on the input that our community offers to us.   Please reach out at any time if you have questions, would like additional information, or would like to talk to someone about your concerns and/or thoughts.

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 finishing my seventh 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. The survey is my request that you share your input with us.  The deadline for the survey is June 22nd.  If you need a second copy for another adult in your household, or you tossed the first one and now want to share your opinion, please call the District Office and request another survey - your opinion matters!


Dr. Shelly Severson

VIDEO TOUR

Sometimes when you hear about the challenges of a building it is difficult to picture what that really looks like. While many of you may have spent time in our buildings over the years, the projects that we are talking about at this time are in areas that are not our wide open public areas.   Since making a tour happen for the whole community is difficult, we put together a video that shows you imagery from the areas that are currently under consideration in this project.

VIDEO TOUR LINK

If you would like to set up a time to tour any of the areas, please call the District Office and Dr. Severson would be happy to assist!

(715-284-4357)

SURVEY

The Community Facility Survey was mailed out to all community members in early June and was emailed to all staff members and parents of our current students.  The purpose of the survey is two fold; the first is to provide background information on our current facilities and the areas that we are currently working on.  The second purpose is to collect feedback from the community to help guide our decision making moving forward.

Below a copy of the survey is linked for your additional review.

SURVEY LINK 

Please note, you cannot take the survey through this link, you will need to call the District Office to get a copy of the survey to take.  If you received a single copy but have another adult that would also like to share their feedback, please reach out to the District Office to receive a second unique survey code.

The deadline for taking the survey is June 22.  The Board of Education will receive the results at their meeting in July, and will make a decision regarding a potential referendum in August.   We will also post the results of the survey for the community to review.

Thank you for sharing the gift of your feedback!

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