$55.7 million referendum approved

The district has approved the $55.7 referendum in order to improve the conditions of MTSD schools.

The district has approved the $55.7 referendum in order to improve the conditions of MTSD schools.

Mequon-Thiensville voters approved a $55.7 million referendum on April 7, 2020 to help facility needs across multiple schools. After engaging in multiple referendum questions on election days, the plan was approved by a final margin of 58% yes to 42% no.

“The District engaged the community in a referendum question on election day in 1998, 2006, 2015, and 2020. The average difference between ‘yes’ and ‘no’ votes across those four elections was 17.5 percentage points. In this election, the difference was 16 percentage points. The difference is in line with what it has been on past referendums. Given the numerous issues associated with the current pandemic including school closure, concerns regarding the economy, and election uncertainties, I think that the results indicate a strong level of support throughout our community for our public schools,” Matthew Joynt, Mequon Thiensville School District Superintendent, said.

The approval comes after a 18-month planning process that started in the fall of 2018. The process included numerous enrollment studies, Long-Range Master Plan for facilities, the creation of a Community Task Force and the input of stakeholders. These factors were used to analyze the environment of the district’s schools for safety and support.

The referendum will primarily be used to address safety and security and helping expand the growth of schools. Each of the three elementary schools are currently operating over their ideal capacity, leaving the buildings with little to no classroom space to assist students.

Under the light of recent news including the shut down of K-12 schools over Wisconsin, the construction projects will continue to be developed by the district.

“The early projection for the completion of major projects completed through the referendum is in time for the 2022-23 school year. Based on the information available to us now, the current school closure should not affect that timeline,” Joynt said.

According to the district, the construction projects will focus on creating additions and renovations at the three elementary schools to increase space available for core classrooms, art, physical education, music, and special education. The middle schools will also have targeted spaces renovated to support the current conditions.
The money will additionally be used for improving traffic circulation among the parking lots, making restrooms and playgrounds more accessible for those with mobility impairments, creating a more identifiable Homestead High School entrance, and connecting to municipal water and enhancing fire suppression and alarm systems at the elementary and middle schools.

The tax impact of the referendum will be 30 cents per $1,000 of property value.

“This bold step forward by our community will serve our school district and all residents well into the future,” Joynt said. “We are pleased to add to the vitality of our community through our strong public schools. The engagement throughout this process reaffirms our community’s support and desire to grow with us.”

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