Nov. 10, 2018 – West Bend, WI – During Monday’s meeting, Nov. 12, of the West Bend School Board a discussion will be held on the “Potential land purchase in Jackson.”
According to the district website:
Topic and Background:
In approximately 2009 the West Bend School District purchased a 6.38 acre parcel of land on Jackson Dr. in the Village of Jackson in anticipation of reconstructing the existing Jackson Elementary. Since the purchased property was small for an elementary school, discussions occurred at the time between the district and village about securing additional land to the north that was owned by the Village of Jackson.
In recognition that the district was moving toward the building a new Jackson Elementary on the new site, the Jackson DPW moved to a new site and the Village began searching for a property on which to construct a new safety building to house the police and fire departments.
In early 2017, the district and the village agreed to enter into a Memorandum of Understanding to have appraisals done on the existing Jackson Elementary, Fire Department and DPW properties. Each party paid for the appraisal of their individual properties and agreed to exchange the documents. Each party recognized the importance of securing the additional property for any potential new school.
Within the last several weeks the Village has put in an offer on the site for the new safety building. The offer has been accepted and closing is set for mid – December. The village offer to purchase is contingent upon the sale of the existing DPW and Fire Department parcels.
Since a new safety building would not be complete prior to the sale of the property, the district would lease the fire department back to the village for a minimal sum. The village would be responsible for all maintenance and utilities associated with the building.
Regardless of whether the board decides to have a referendum in spring of 2019, the property to the north of our vacant land would make our property a much better site for an elementary building. Furthermore, the purchase of this property would enable the Village of Jackson to move ahead with their plans.
Total purchase price $750,000.00.
A couple of notes:
-The West Bend School District owes about $130 million on current referendum debt. That debt is slated to be paid off in 2028.
-The referendum costs in August 2018 for a new Jackson Elementary and renovations to the high schools was estimated at about $50 million with an additional $35 million in interest for a total estimated at $85 million.
-Board member Ken Schmidt has talked about the interest costs being posted on the ballot to give a clear picture of how much the referendum would total. Board President Joel Ongert said in a meeting in August the interest would not be on the ballot.
-The West Bend School District last reported a drop in enrollment of 85 students.
-The School Board has regularly set aside $250,000 for the Jackson Elementary Fund, also known as Fund 46. During a meeting in May it was noted there was $4 million in Fund 46 however $2.5 million was designated for Jackson Elementary.
-Fund 46 would have been used to offset the cost of a future referendum involving Jackson Elementary. This year, for the first time since the fund started, the board approved setting aside $20,000 for the Jackson Fund. Superintendent Don Kirkegaard said they would see “how our budget is performing.” He said the district would look at whether to contribute to the Jackson Fund in spring 2019.
-During a meeting in August, Bray Architects recommended the Jackson Fund not be saved to reduce the referendum but instead to pay down debt.
-In August the board discussed a new two-story Jackson Elementary.
-Over the summer the district spent $16,500 on a survey regarding the future of Jackson Elementary and the West Bend High Schools. Only some, not all, of the survey results were shared with the community.
The West Bend School Board’s next meeting is Monday, Nov. 12 at 6:30 p.m. in the lower level of the District Office, 735 S. Main Street.