$15.7M referendum for north side school on November ballot

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LA CROSSE, Wis (WEAU)- A multi-million dollar referendum that would unite the north side schools of La Crosse will be on the November ballot.

The school board is asking for 15.7 million dollars to build a brand new school on the north side that would replace all three current schools.

Roosevelt and Franklin elementary are two of the oldest in the district. Between them there are classrooms and cafeterias that are in the basements, floors are sinking and slanting, cracks are appearing in the walls, and the boilers are acting up.

“We repair things as they become broken but we really need to replace the inner pieces,” said Joe Ledvina, Supervisor of Buildings and Grounds.

The conditions of the schools are concerning parents.

“I know the school district is going to keep my kids safe but there’s only so much the school district can do. It’s sad to think somebody’s child could get hurt,” said Kelly Mayer, mother of 7 kids that are currently in the Northside schools.

Mayer says she will be voting yes for the referendum on November 6th to help unite her kids under one roof.

“These are my kids, my life, I love the school and the teachers but just to have us together in one group would be amazing,” said Mayer.

This will be the third time that a referendum for a new school on the north side has been voted on. The last time it failed by less than 1%. The school board says this will be the last time that they plan on putting the question on the ballot.

“We’ve had this discussion many times I don’t think we are going to go to the public with this question again any time in the near future,” said School Board Member, Tom Thompson.

If it does pass the project will start right away and the new building will be built on the Franklin site.

The referendum would cost taxpayer approximately $25 dollars per year per $100,000 dollar property value.

If it doesn’t pass what is left of the current referendum ($2 million) will be used for repairs.

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