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Citizens task force contemplates future of Green Bay West High School

The task force is going over possible options and solutions to reshape the Green Bay Area Public School District through a facilities master plan
Posted at 12:30 AM, Mar 09, 2023
and last updated 2023-03-16 14:44:15-04

GREEN BAY (NBC 26) — A Green Bay citizens task force is going over possible options and solutions to reshape the Green Bay Area Public School District long-term.

It's called a facilities master plan. Basically, it consists of ideas on what Green Bay schools could look like in the future.

"They need updating, and you've got a population that's declined, and there's too many buildings for the number of students," ATS&R task force facilitator Chuck Holden said.

In January, ATS&R, a consulting company out of Minneapolis, submitted its recommendations to the Board of Education through hundreds of pages of reports.

The firm suggested more than $400 million in projects and repairs over the next 30 years.

Since then, a community task force has been looking at possible options to reshape the District.

"We're hoping to educate them on everything that we've learned," Holden said. "And then have them come up, and which they already have, they've come up with other ideas that we hadn't considered."

The firm and the task force met at West High School on Wednesday.

"It's a beautiful site," Holden said.

The groups examined several options of what the high school could look like down the road.

One option was keeping the high school as is.

One of the other options is to bring elementary and middle school students to the building, too.

A report from ATS&R found West High School's enrollment is 61 percent of the building's capacity.

"It's underpopulated," Holden said.

West High School alum Hannah Malmberg, along with a number of parents and other community members, was at the meeting.

"While I know there are budgetary issues and enrollment issues, I think that we can get more creative than just closing a building or building new buildings," Malmberg said.

Malmberg says if more schools put an emphasis on advanced classes, like the International Baccalaureate (IB) Program, it would help out her former high school.

"West is the only (high) school that has the IB Program," Malmberg said.

Parents and community members are encouraged to take an online survey sharing their thoughts about the facilities master plan.

The task force will give its master plan recommendations to the school board in May.

The board has the final say on those suggestions, which will take a vote on them in June.

In its report to the school board, ATS&R suggests MacArthur Elementary be demolished. The firm says there are several structural issues at the school.