JANESVILLE — An $8.6 million plan to renovate and expand Janesville Consolidated School will be on the ballot Feb. 6.
The Board of Education on Monday approved setting a bond issue referendum “for the construction of classrooms, gym space and a common corridor along with some roofing,” said Superintendent B.J. Meaney.
Voters will be asked to approve a property tax increase of $4.05 per $1,000 of taxable value to repay the general obligation bonds over 20 years. However, officials say the impact on tax bills won’t be any larger than two smaller bond issue options that were also considered by the board.
“It’s actually going to be a new tax ask of less than $2.71,” said Meaney. Primarily, that will be accomplished through a reduction in the physical plant and equipment levy. That fund is largely used to maintain buildings and equipment.
“Our PPEL is set to expire in a couple of years,” he noted, of the levy’s voter-approved portion. “We will not come out and ask them to approve a $1.34 PPEL.”
Although that means no longer having a voter-approved PPEL, the district would still have the board-approved portion, which is 33 cents per $1,000 of taxable value.
In coming weeks, the district will unveil further efforts to reduce the impact, particularly in the period before the PPEL expires.
Meaney acknowledged the property tax increase would still be significant, but noted if the improvements go forward they will relieve the district’s space and facility issues well into the future. “The facilities committee looked at the needs of the school long term,” he said.
An addition on the northwest end of the school would contain a new competition gym and varsity lockers rooms, an expansion of the band room, three new high school classrooms and the corridor.
Three middle school and two preschool classrooms would be added on the north end near the middle of the building. Americans with Disabilities Act-compliant renovations would be made to the access from the preschool rooms to the cafeteria.
Four elementary classrooms would be added at the east end of the building. Two nearby small classrooms would be renovated into ADA-compliant restrooms.
Outside air exchangers would be added for the middle school, which currently doesn’t have any, while the boiler and the roof over the elementary and gym areas would be replaced. Those roofs are 55 to 60 years old.
New parking would be added west of the football field and playground modifications may be made east of the school.
The referendum will be the district’s third attempt to pass a bond issue. Last year, it twice failed to pass a $5.4 million bond issue. Sixty percent of voters in the referendum would need to approve the bond issue for passage.