MENASHA (NBC 26) — The Menasha referendum vote is approaching, here’s what you need to know:
“This is all about doing what’s right for our students and making sure we’ve got the right facilities to provide a solid education to our students in Menasha,” said Superintendent Chris VanderHeyden.
Tuesday's referendum aims to replace the current Maplewood Middle School.
“It’s been really overcrowded. So, we really wanted to appease that and alleviate that,” said VanderHeyden.
One former student agrees - the current middle school is overcrowded and outdated.
“The classrooms did not hold enough people that they needed to. All of the things were split; it didn’t really work out. It also seemed like in the halls, you couldn’t get anywhere because everyone was everywhere,” said Haydn Raimer, a former student.
The plan would take the current middle school from three grades to four.
“So, this referendum is for a new structure, 5-8. It would mean 5, 6, 7, 8 on the same location at the current Maplewood Middle School site,” said VanderHeyden.
The referendum is part of a three-phase plan of improvement for the district. Phase one began 10 years ago, and the district made some additions and remodeled the current Menasha High School. Phase two is the current plan of replacing the old Maplewood with the new, larger intermediate and middle school.
“That sets us up for the next conversation which we’ve been referring to as phase three,” said VanderHeyden.
Phase three is still up in the air. This referendum has not been put to voters yet, but it would address elementary schools.
The proposed referendum would cost $99.7 million.
“When you hear that number, that’s a big number. That’s a big number for me as well,” said VanderHeyden.
According to VanderHeyden, that doesn’t necessarily mean a tax increase.
“We’re able to do that without raising the debt part of our mill rate, and that’s our goal, is to maintain a stable mill rate,” said VanderHeyden.
According to Raimer, this is a step towards improvement for the school.
“When I was there, they didn’t take action for much stuff I feel like,” said Raimer.
You can visit the school district’s website to find more information about the referendum.