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Two Rivers school district asking residents to approve $38.7 million referendum for facility improvement

Posted at 11:27 PM, Nov 01, 2022
and last updated 2022-11-02 01:07:51-04

TWO RIVERS, Wis. (NBC 26) — Robert Jennings has lived in his Two Rivers home for four years. He doesn't have any children in the school district, but he lives right across the street from L.B. Clarke Middle.

"Anything to help improve with the students, to get them what they need to get them a better education," Jennings said.

That's why he's voting 'yes' on a November referendum.

The Two Rivers school district is asking the community for $38.7 million that'll go towards a facility improvement project.
Most of the money would be spent on L.B. Clarke.

"For a homeowner with a $100,000 home, the tax impact is $49," District Finance Director Mary Kay Slattery said.

It's an annual tax increase for 21 years to pay off the debt.

"After this school year, we will be debt-free of all our capital improvement debt," Slattery said. "So this... is a very good time for us financially."

Superintendent Diane Johnson says the middle school's classrooms and hallways are undersized. And the cafeteria can only hold one classroom at a time. The referendum would add more classrooms and a gymnasium.

"The high school is twice as big as the middle school with the same amount of children," Johnson said.

The district reports there's also a number of parking lots that are congested and inefficient. The referendum would also update those pieces of property.

Johnson is putting an emphasis on the Tech Education space for middle school apprentice and trade programs. She says it needs more room and an updated electrical system.

"The workforce is crying for welders and they're crying for carpenters , all of those positions," Johnson said.

A February district survey shows over 53 percent of non-parents and non-staff would likely vote 'yes' to a referendum.

"This is what the district needs," Johnson said. "This is what children need."

The referendum also covers updated security and playground equipment.