Onalaska School District Task Force Recommends Referendum, Focuses on Middle and High Schools

ONALASKA, Wis. (WKBT) — Onalaska middle and high schools have priority in an Onalaska School District task force, which is recommending a referendum to address those top needs.

The needs of the Onalaska Middle School rank first in the report, followed by those of the high school.

Onalaska Superintendent Todd Antony said the school’s projects could cost between $35 million and $40 million each.

Onalaska Middle School is aging. Over the years, the school has tried to keep up.

“We were an open-concept school, which meant there were no walls. You know, almost anywhere,” Principal Jed Kees said. “So in 2006 we put up walls to create ‘classrooms’.”

This school hasn’t had a major renovation since 1978, and things have changed since then, Onalaska Middle is made up of a bunch of different pieces that don’t fit together.

“To think of it in terms of one or two or even 12 things, it’s complicated in that regard,” Kees said.

Antony said: “We are responsible for maintaining a safe and healthy learning environment for our students. The existing building has not kept up with the needs in terms of educational strategies over the years.

In college, places are too small.

“I don’t think we can fit an entire choir or an entire band into the choir and the music rooms,” Kees said.

The facilities are old.

“We have very little natural light in the building,” Kees said, acknowledging that a classroom has natural light, but adding, “However, many, many, many of our classrooms don’t. not – most, in fact.”

These are issues that school leaders say need to be addressed as the building nears the end of its useful life.

“The things we could offer with a remodeled college would just be better,” Kees said. “Better for kids, better for families.”

Leaders believe these changes will help keep their students’ needs at the top of the list.

At Onalaska High School, the suggested renovations would help improve accessibility to the ADA and improve the school’s technology, science and performing arts facilities.

With schools high on the district’s priority list, the group made more recommendations.

More information about the report is available here. The full report of the working group can be found on this link.

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