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Upcoming School District Renovation

posted Apr 3, 2016, 2:12 PM by Jeffrey Wolf

By: Kylie Coffin, Co Editor-in-Chief

Updated March 28th, 2016

On February 16, 2016 the community of Slinger spoke through their votes and passed the facilities referendum for the School District of Slinger. This referendum has a two-part agenda, one being $32.4 million worth of district-wide improvements, and the other being $9.88 million construction of an auditorium at Slinger High School. Superintendent of Slinger schools and School Board member, Mr. Sievers, was an active part of the forming and promoting of these plans. Mr. Sievers said of the passage of the referendum, "The community of Slinger always supports their schools and I feel blessed to work here. This referendum is another example of the pride and support this community has for its schools and our programs."

Much effort went into informing the community about why the renovations proposed would be beneficial for students, the school district, and the community at large. Mailers were sent out to Slinger residents to answer common questions about the referendum and inform people about the potential renovations. Open houses were also held on January 27, February 1, and February 8 in order to discuss the details of the updates. Mr. Sievers said of these efforts, “I think the open houses, mailers, and materials did a lot of educating of circumstances and telling our story, so to speak. We outlined the facts, educated people on the options, and informed people about the timeline.” He went on to say, “There were a lot of moving parts to this, so it really helped to be be up front with the public about everything being considered.”

Back in 2014, Slinger’s School Board conducted a Comprehensive Facilities Audit of all schools within the district. Based on the evaluation of roofing, plumbing and heating systems, classroom layouts and space within each building, the School Board created a list of updates it deemed necessary for the improvement of building conditions.

$9.7 million will be going towards updates at the three elementary schools within the School District of Slinger. Addison Elementary has a budget of $2.8 million which will be used to add new Kindergarten classrooms, create more storage, make the South parking lot larger, and update the heating system. Allenton was allotted $5.5 million to make a more secure entrance to the school, add more Kindergarten classrooms, and create a new gym. Updates will be made to restrooms, the electrical system, and the heating system. The bus and car route for before and after school traffic will also be reworked to improve safety conditions. At Slinger Elementary, $1.4 million will be put towards renovations to Kindergarten and Special Education as well as the gym. Gym additions will include new flooring and bleachers. Portions of the roof will be replaced, and the heating system will also be updated in this elementary building.

Slinger Middle School will use $1.8 million to work on making a more secure front entrance like what will be done at Allenton Elementary. This will require renovations to be done to the main office. The electrical systems, lighting within the cafeteria, and air-conditioning will be updated on the inside, while the roofing and doors will be replaced outside.

With $20.9 million of the $32.4 million budget for district-wide improvements, Slinger High School has the longest renovation to-do list. This will include an overall expansion with the addition of new music classrooms and rehearsal rooms, Special Education rooms, and general classrooms. The workout center that is currently in the basement will move to where the music wing currently is. That space in the basement will then be used to expand the STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Math) and shop classrooms. Electrical, heating and fire alarm systems will be updated. A more secure entry will also be added to the high school. The lives of Slinger sports fans and athletes will be forever improved by the outdoor addition of bathroom, concessions, and storage space.

The second part of the referendum was the source of some concern before the vote on February 16 as School Board members decided whether the community would feel comfortable spending $9.88 million on a new auditorium for the district. It did, and this will greatly benefit the community in the long-run due to the fact that all performances, presentations, and extra-curricular activities at all levels will have the opportunity to use this space. Those who are less supportive of the auditorium from a more music-based standpoint are benefitted by the fact that physical education and athletics will no longer need to share their gym space. This new auditorium will be located directly next to the music classes, which are being relocated from their current location to the back of the school near the tennis courts. There will be 800 seats in the auditorium, fly space for scenery in shows, and an orchestra pit. Also included in the auditorium construction will be a lobby with bathrooms, storage space for stage sets, and dressing rooms designated for the performers.

School district renovations are projected to begin as soon as June 12, 2016. Many positive changes are coming to the School District of Slinger thanks to the efforts of the School Board and the support of the community.