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GBAPS holding referendum information sessions Tuesday and Thursday

The District is proposing a capital improvement referendum worth $92.6 million to voters for the November election
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Posted at 10:16 PM, Sep 19, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-19 23:16:08-04

GREEN BAY, Wis. (NBC 26) — The Green Bay Area Public School District is asking voters to ponder a referendum worth approximately $92.6 million.

The capital improvement referendum is appearing on the ballot in November.

This week, the district is holding two community information sessions regarding the referendum. Those sessions are taking place from 6 to 8 p.m. at Preble High School on Tuesday and West High School on Thursday.

The District is asking for $43.4 million for facility and safety projects, $48 million for upgrades to its middle and high schools, and another $1.2 million to replace and improve playgrounds.

"When you have 100 kids out at recess at the same time trying to share something that's made for like 20 or 50 or whatever because that's all that's left, it's not great for the kids," Bridget Van Laanen said, a parent in the District.

Van Laanen has three kids who attend Danz Elementary in Green Bay.

She says Danz's playground is older, and that the school is slowly removing the equipment.

"Having them have something that is functional would be awesome," Van Laanen said.

Also top of mind for the district is safety for student-athletes.

Video above from the district shows the track at Preble High School cracking.

"Specifically at Preble, the conditions are unsafe," GBAPS Chief Operating Officer Josh Patchak said.

Patchak says right now, Preble can't host soccer games or track meets.

"It needs to be remedied before the WIAA (Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association) will allow us to host events there," Patchak said.

Patchak says the District is hoping to put in new turf fields at both Preble and West High Schools, along with new stadiums.

These are just a few of many projects the District is asking the community to work on.

That's if voters approve the referendum.

"We're kind of up a creek without a paddle if we don't support our children," Van Laanen said.

The District says financially, the proposed mill rate goes down if the referendum proposal is approved by the voters.

According to the district, the current mill rate is $9.03.

The proposed mill rate would be $8.24, which the district says would be the lowest since 1984.