New referendum for MTSD to be put to a vote in April

The district plans to implement changes regarding security and capacity.

The district plans to implement changes regarding security and capacity.

In the fall of 2017, the Mequon-Thiensville District (MTSD) Board of Education became worried about overcrowding at one of the elementary schools in the district, Oriole Lane. From there, the board began working up a plan to address more potential overcrowding and other problems facing the district.

This plan is now a $55.7 million referendum to be put to a vote in Mequon on April 7.

If the referendum passes, the school district will be given $55.7 million to make an array of improvements throughout all the schools. Overcrowding issues will be solved along with security features and academic renovations.

According to the MTSD Referendum Fact Sheet, the existing elementary school capacity was set at 1,524 students, and in fall of 2019, 1,571 students were enrolled. Projections suggest that by 2030, 1,747 students will be enrolled in the elementary schools.

“It’s not just that we have reached the capacity, or about to, we’ve surpassed it at two of our elementary schools, and we are projected to surpass it at the third in the next year or two,” Superintendent Matthew Joynt said.

To combat this, the $55.7 million will fund additions to the elementary schools for more space for core classrooms, and for art, physical education, music and special education classes. It will also expand space for the lunchrooms at the elementary and middle schools.

Also, many new safety additions will be seen throughout the district if the referendum passes. Traffic circulation at the schools will be improved, bathrooms and playgrounds will be more accessible for those with mobility impairments and fire suppression and alarm systems will be enhanced.

Lastly, a more identifiable main entrance will be built at Homestead. This will help to improve visitor access, and the administrative offices will be moved to the front of the school, similar to how they are at the elementary and middle schools.

The community seems to be pleased by what the referendum will do for the school district. Joynt is pleased with the ongoing conversations with the community about the referendum: “Those conversations and our engagement with the community has not just happened at the school board level… the community weighing in has included community listening sessions and has included the opportunity for community members to provide feedback, whether it be face to face, or via survey.”

Members of the MTSD are also excited about the possible changes that will be coming about in the near future. “Although this referendum is mainly about the elementary and middle schools, I would be very pleased if it passes because we would see many new kids coming into the district,” Mrs. Tracy Grace said.

Students are also eager to see benefits from a referendum. “I’m only going to be here for one more year, but I know that changes like the ones the school board is planning will help the district a lot,” Claudia Chedid, junior, said.

As the vote date for the referendum nears within the next two months, the district and the general public ready themselves for possibly some new changes in the Mequon-Thiensville School District.