Board approves facilities referendum

by Dave Cary
Review Correspondent

PLYMOUTH — The Plymouth School Board Tuesday took a major step toward updating school facilities with unanimous votes on an initial resolution stating intent to issue general obligation bonds not to exceed $31,900,000, and a separate resolution providing for a referendum question which would be submitted to voters at the April 3 general election.

This is the latest development in the district’s two year close look at its existing facilities with an eye to what will be needed in the future.

The board submitted a mailin questionnaire (with an online option) to district voters, achieving an unusually high return rate of better than 20 percent. Some 70 percent of respondents advised the board to pursue a referendum, with about 62 percent saying they would support borrowing the amount needed.

If voters approve the referendum, design work would start immediately and the project could be complete in time for the 2019-2020 school year.

The question approved is:

“Shall the Plymouth Joint School District, Sheboygan County, Wisconsin be authorized to issue pursuant to Chapter 67 of the Wisconsin statutes, general obligation bonds in an amount not to exceed $31,900,000 for the public purpose of paying the cost of a school building and improvement program consisting of: security improvements, construction of academic and athletic additions, remodeling and site improvements at the High School; security improvements, construction of gymnasium, cafeteria and academic additions, remodeling, roof replacement and HVAC upgrades at Parkview Elementary and Fairview Elementary schools; district-wide security and communications system upgrades; and acquiring related fixtures, furnishings and equipment?”

Preliminary figures indicate the taxpayer impact would be $95 for every $100,000 of property value for 21 years.

The district’s mill rate — $8.13 per thousand of assessed valuation this year — has declined three years in a row and is one of the lowest in the county and among the lowest 25 percent in the state.

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In personnel matters, the board accepted a retirement request from Social Studies teacher and Athletic Director Gale Grahn, effective next May 11. Grahn has served the district for 30 years.

The board also accepted the resignation of Jennifer Marten, gifted and talented and online school coordinator for the district, effective Jan. 15. She has served the district for 20 years.

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The board accepted the fol- lowing gifts and donations:

• A donation of $1,000 from the Kohler Foundation for the Plymouth High School Photography Club.

• A donation of $32,000 from the Kohler Foundation for a robot to be used in the Science and Technology Center.

• A donation of $484.50 from the Parkview PTK for bus transportation to Spieker’s Pumpkin Farm, the Mauer Farm and to Stony Hill School.

• A donation of $169.56 from the Horizon PATH for bus transportation to Spieker’s Pumpkin Farm and the fire station.

• A donation of $1,249.68 from the Fairview PTO for bus transportation and field trip costs to Whisper Orchards, Ice Age Center, Kohler-Andrae State Park, Bookworm, the Wade House and Spieker’s Pumpkin Farm.

• A donation of $225.89 from the Plymouth High School Activity Fund for bus transportation to LTC.

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