Howard-Suamico School District reacts to referendums passing

Published: Apr. 7, 2021 at 4:51 PM CDT
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HOWARD, Wis. (WBAY) - The Howard-Suamico School District celebrated the success of its two referendums which passed in the Spring Election Tuesday.

“It’s a great day to be a Pirate in the Howard-Suamico School District,” said Superintendent Damian LaCroix, referring to the district’s mascot.

District faculty and board members gathered to celebrate the passing of its referendum requests.

“In many ways, yesterday was a history making day for our school system and for our community,” said LaCroix. “Certainly the passage of both questions totaling $103 million is significant on so many levels.”

One approved the district to exceed the revenue limit by $5 million for five years for maintenance and employee compensation.

The other $98 million referendum will fund a district-wide facilities project, bringing improvements to all eight of the district’s school buildings.

Each passed with a majority of 52.1 and 53.9 percent of the vote, respectively.

“Just even the creation of this district was a community-led effort,” said Board President Teresa Ford. “So, I’m not surprised. I’m incredibly proud to be a part of this district and to serve these communities members the way that they do.”

Ford and LaCroix both credit the community task force involved in the planning and the work done to educate and inform the public of their plans.

“I don’t know that we’ve ever communicated as much or as well as we did in this environment,” said LaCroix. “I think that coupled together with this really being a grassroots effort were really the deciding factors. Having a really good plan that I think made sense but explaining and well because there was some complexity to it.”

Assistant Superintendent of Operations Mike Juech says the price tag may seem high, but when improving all eight schools you can see exactly where those dollars go.

“Just capital needs alone for all of our buildings was over $50 million,” said Juech. “So, being able to also impact some of those educational and academic spaces is a great opportunity.”

Juech believes modernizing the academic spaces will be key to giving students the best education possible.

“Adjusting to ‘What are we seeing post-secondary? What do our students need to be ready for?’ Making sure our facilities also meet those needs so that when students leave our organization or our district, they’re set up for whatever opportunity they want,” said Juech.

The district has mapped out its design and construction schedule now through 2023.

“Just really grateful, hopeful, optimistic and ready to move forward,” said LaCroix.

Previously Action 2 News reported on how these referendums could decrease the tax levy. Find that coverage HERE.

People can also get more information for the details and plans of each referendum on the Howard-Suamico School District’s website.

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