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JANESVILLE — After gathering community input on three potential building proposals, the issue of Janesville Consolidated School’s expansion is coming before the Board of Education on Monday.

Board members will consider moving forward with one of the proposals during their 6 p.m. meeting in the school’s library.

A building committee last week presented two proposals with a $5.66 million price tag and one costing an estimated $8.6 million. General obligation bonds would fund the project and be repaid with increased property taxes. The first two would raise property taxes $2.70 per $1,000 of taxable value while the third would include an increase of $4.05 per $1,000 of taxable value.

School district officials hope to put a bond issue referendum on the ballot Feb. 6. The district failed to pass a $5.4 million bond issue in April and December 2016.

“We’re out of classroom space,” said Superintendent B.J. Meaney, noting the proposals create more and prepare the district for enrollment growth.

“The community wanted options, so we presented options,” he said. “We had a great turnout.”

He estimated about 250 people attended the event at the Riviera Roose Community Center, including more than half of the school district’s staff. A table was set up for each proposal as well as a fourth one where people could learn about the tax implications.

“We had probably four committee members at each proposal,” said Meaney. “We asked them simply ‘Is there one you could support?’” People then wrote their choice on a ticket and dropped it in a box.

Each proposal would expand the building to add new classrooms, though the number is fewer in option two. All three also include an addition to the band room and a new high school lobby.

Option one prioritizes classroom space and addresses facility maintenance issues. It includes the addition of two preschool classrooms and three each at the elementary, middle and high school levels.

An area would be renovated to create two Americans with Disabilities Act-compliant bathrooms. Access to the cafeteria from the current preschool area also would be renovated to make it ADA compliant.

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. Meaney said those roofs date from the 1970s.

Option three accounts for anticipated growth by addressing the classroom and facility maintenance issues in the same way as the first proposal along with expanding space for extracurricular activities. A new competition gym would be built at the northwest end of the building, where a parking lot is now. As a result, parking spaces to replace and expand the existing number would be added west of the football field.

Option two is a hybrid plan that adds space for classrooms and a gym, but does not address facility needs. It includes three elementary classrooms and two each at the middle and high schools. The shell of the gym would be built, but the interior would be left unfinished. The additional parking spaces would be added, as well.

Sixty percent of voters in the referendum would need to approve the bond issue for passage. If approved, Meaney anticipates an 18-month timeline to complete the project.


Education Reporter

Education reporter for the Courier

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