Slinger puts $40 million referenda on the ballot

Posted at 5:57 PM, Feb 15, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-15 20:56:42-05

SLINGER -- Millions of dollars are on the line for one school district in Washington County.

The Slinger School District is asking voters to say yes to two referenda. The first, at a cost of $32.4 million, is for school maintenance and upgrades for all of the buildings. The other costs $9.9 million and would be to add a brand new auditorium to the high school.

For Jarod Cox it's an easy yes. He has one child who has already graduated from the district and another who is a senior. Both have been in the fine arts program and he says a new auditorium is a definite need.

"They needed something more than what they have now," Cox says referring to the auditorium that is currently in the gym.

But at a total cost of $42.2 million for both referenda, it's too much for Richard Melius.

"It's a tremendous amount of money," Melius says.

The district says most of the buildings are at least 15 years old, and that this is normal maintenance.

"We do not want our facilities to end up where we...need to do a major referendum," Kenneth Strupp, Slinger School Board President.

The school district is looking to do things like add Kindergarten classrooms to Addison and Allenton Elementaries, fix the roofs at the middle school and high school, and upgrade all the heating and air conditioning units at all the buildings. They also will add a new bathroom and storage facility for outside athletics.

"Our athletic facilities down below we have no restrooms, no concessions, we use porta-potties. We want to address that issue," Strupp says.

The second question asks voters to build a separate auditorium. Right now, there is one in the middle of the gym which affects community sports programs and high school athletics.

"Every time we have a musical or any kind of performance in here this whole area gets shut down," Bruce Hassler, Slinger School Board Vice President.

According to the district, the average homeowner with a $200,000 house will only pay $78 more a year in taxes. The district says it's been 15 years since the last referendum and they are just finished paying it off.

"It's $80 more here, $80 there, it never goes back down," Melius says.

The Slinger School Board will answer any last minute questions about the referenda at their Monday night meeting on February 15 starting at 7 p.m. Otherwise you can see the entire proposal on their website here under the tab marked referendum.