June 2018 Referendum Update
These are exciting times at the Northern Ozaukee School District as our students continue to excel both in and out of the classroom. We are fortunate to have committed staff, dedicated parents, and a supportive community.
The NOSD Board of Education formally approved our $14.95 Million District Referendum Question to be placed on the April 3, 2018 election. This is an important and exciting step for our District and community. At NOSD we are focused on our future and committed to our community. As a result of the District and community survey, we were able to identify support for the key priorities of our staff, taxpayers, and community within our "conceptual plan." Below are the priorities the Referendum will focus on:
- Classroom Updates: Update classrooms, technical education areas, and related school facilities. This will allow NOSD to have excellent learning space for our students and staff.
- Facilities and Grounds Updates: Address a comprehensive list of maintenance needs, security, infrastructure, track upgrade, drainage on athletic fields, and updates throughout our current facilities and grounds.
- Cafeteria/Kitchen: Create new cafeteria space for students that will serve in multiple functions as PK-12 large group learning spaces and utilize for school/community events.
- Auditorium: Convert our current cafeteria to an auditorium with permanent seating and lighting/ sound to be used for PK-12 concerts, plays, musicals, art shows, assemblies, ceremonies, and community events.
Our focus will always be on our District's mission, to educate young men and women to develop strong character and prepare them for the future. With this mission as our priority, we have spent a significant amount of time focusing our referendum on our district's needs and developing a comprehensive plan to position our district and community for continued success in the years ahead.
In 2019, the District will pay off a loan that funded pas building projects. As a result, the debt portion of the school property tax bill drop. This reduction will reduce the impact of referendum-approved spending to update our facilities.
Given this information, the School Board feels this is a good time to consider our options. If the referendum is approved, the District would issue bonds to fund the project. The first phase of borrowing would take place in 2018, the second in 2019. Each bond would be paid off over a 20-year period of time.
For information on how this will directly impact you, please use the Tax Impact Calculator located on this site. Simply enter your home value and the specific tax impact will be calculated for you. In order for the calculator to give accurate information, omit from entering a comma for place value.
We at the Northern Ozaukee School District are proud of the work we do on a daily basis and take pride in our learning environments. However, we also acknowledge there are various needs within our district that require attention in order to make our District even more outstanding.
Classroom updates are one area of need. There is a growing demand for jobs in the areas of manufacturing and construction. To help prepare our students for careers in these areas, the District is offering more technical education and hands-on opportunities. In addition, many of our general classrooms through the elementary, middle and high school do not support today's learning which requires better access to and support of technology.
Facilities and grounds are also in need of updating. Some of the school's infrastructure is from the original construction and is more than 50 years old. These building systems have reached the end of their useful life, resulting in inefficiencies and ongoing costly repairs. Additionally, parent pick-up and drop-off require better traffic flow and separation from staff and student parking. The buses currently use the space behind the school which only allows for one-way traffic causing traffic and safety concerns. The track surface is also in need of improvement as it is cracked in many places and patches are no longer sufficient.
The addition of a cafeteria and an update of our kitchen is the third area of need. The cafeteria currently shares space with the auditorium. Both areas are too small to meet the needs of the current student population. Due to space limitations, lunch is served over multiple periods, starting as early as 10:30 a.m. and ending as late as 12:50 p.m. which creates class scheduling conflicts. When auditorium events are scheduled, this further reduces cafeteria space. The serving area is congested resulting in students waiting in long lines with less time for lunch.
Lastly, the auditorium is an additional area of need. The auditorium currently shares space with the cafeteria which results in constant scheduling conflicts. Band/musical students have limited availability to the space making it a challenge to coordinate practices and set up for performances.
After analyzing District-wide needs and evaluating community survey results, the NOSD school board determined that the following updates, renovations, and new construction is most impactful to our District. In direct response to the needs identified, the Building and Grounds Committee determined the following feasible solutions.
- General classroom updates
- Update classroom technology throughout facility
- Renovate science/chemistry labs
- Remodel and update technical education spaces
Facilities and Grounds Updates:
- Replace leaking roof sections as minor repairs are no longer effective
- Replace heating and ventilation equipment to improve energy efficiency including rooftop air handlers and the building control system
- Upgrade the electrical service and other components such as panels, lighting and emergency generator
- Replace the clock and intercom system
- Abate/replace asbestos floor tile
- Repair exterior masonry/tuck-pointing and replace exterior windows
- Improve building security by updating the building access system
- Improve traffic circulation to create separation between pedestrians and vehicles to improve safety
- Replace playground and parking lot asphalt and increase parking for students, visitors and staff
- Improve the drainage on the athletic fields
- Resurface the running track
- Build a dedicated cafeteria that will allow for:Separate areas for elementary and middle/high school students
- Flexible schedules
- Fewer lunch periods
- Large group instructional space when the cafeteria is not in use
- Community events/activities during non-school hours
- Update the kitchen and expand the serving areas to improve student flow
- Renovate the existing space to create a dedicated auditorium that will allow for:
- Student rehearsals
- School presentations
- Community events and/or performances
- Large group instructional space
- Add permanent seating
- Update lighting/sound systems
- Provide gallery space for art display
Click on Image for Larger Version of Referendum Timeline
Strategic planning for the 2018 NOSD Referendum began in January 2017. The NOSD School board approved an exploratory committee to determine needs that could be met in a future referendum. In addition, in March 2017 a Referendum Exploratory Community Committee was assembled of community members and other stakeholders at NOSD to discuss ideas and gather feedback from various community organizations. Prior to finalizing the 2018 Referendum Question, NOSD partnered with School Perceptions to conduct a community survey to better understand the community's reception of the idea of a Referendum. For complete results click here.
Referendum Frequently Asked Questions
Do you have questions regarding the upcoming NOSD Referendum? Maybe some of them can be answered in our Frequently Asked Questions Section.
Q: Why is this the right time for a referendum?
A: In 2019, the District will pay off a loan that funded past building projects. As a result, the debt portion of the school property tax bill will drop. This reduction will significantly reduce the impact of referendum-approved spending to update our facilities. Additionally, interest rates remain at historic lows while construction costs are also low, but continue to increase yearly.
Q: What process was used by the Board to assess and prioritize its needs and find a solution?
A: The referendum planning process started by establishing three key goals that have served as our guide: 1) We are committed to a planning and referendum process that is transparent and honest; 2) We are committed to identifying our District's needs that will position us for a successful future; 3) We are committed to gathering community feedback and understanding what our community is willing to support.
In January 2017, the District created an exploratory committee to gather and review needs for the district. CD Smith and Bray Architects also assisted the district through the process in identifying needs, proposing solutions, and determining project budgets. Engineers and our maintenance staff spent extensive time reviewing facility needs and finding solutions to the issues that were identified. In October 2017, a community survey was sent to all residents in the district to determine taxpayer's priorities in addressing the district's needs. Survey results were evaluated by the School Board and a referendum was proposed for April 2018.
Q: What project scope changes occurred from what was shown in the survey?
A: The results of the survey showed community support for facilities, grounds, and classroom upgrades; a cafeteria addition; and renovations to create a dedicated auditorium. While support was shown for these project the community feedback showed stronger support for having a lower tax impact.
From this feedback, the School Board re-evaluated the project scope and worked very hard to find cost savings on the project. These cost savings were achieved with the following changes in scope- the size of the addition was reduced, the scope of renovation work for the auditorium was reduced, and the concessions & maintenance buildings were eliminated.
Q: Will local contractors get a chance to work on this project?
A: Yes! If the referendum is successful, qualified local contractors are encouraged to and will be given the opportunity to bid on the projects.
Q: If the referendum passes, what is the anticipated schedule for the project?
A: A comprehensive plan is being developed to phase in projects to be completed in a timely manner. The design for the addition and renovations projects will run from April 2018 to November 2018. The project will go out to bid in December 2018. Construction for the addition would start in spring 2019 with completion in early fall 2019. Renovation work on existing facilities would be completed in summer 2019 and any remaining work in summer 2019.
For the maintenance projects, the District will look to complete some of the work in summer 2018 and any remaining work in summer 2019.
Q: What is the exact language that will be on the ballot?
A: The exact language will read as follows: "Shall the Northern Ozaukee School District, Ozaukee County, Wisconsin be authorized to issue pursuant to Chapter 67 of the Wisconsin Statutes, general obligation bonds in an amount not to exceed $14,950,000 for the public purpose of paying the cost of a District-wide school improvement program consisting of: undertaking capital maintenance projects at District buildings and grounds, including updating roofs, windows, doors, plumbing, electrical, security and technology systems; updating technical education areas and classrooms throughout the District; undertaking other facility and site improvements and building additions; and acquiring furnishings, fixtures and equipment?"
Q: If the referendum passes, what is the tax impact on my property?
A: All information regarding the referendum is available on the NOSD website- www.nosd.edu- click on the referendum tab to learn more. Additionally, you can call the district office at (262) 692-2489 ext. 402.
Informational open houses will be held on Wednesday, March 21 at 7:00 pm in the NOSD Cafeteria/Auditorium. Coffee with the Superintendent will be held on Friday, March 23 at 8:30 am at Fredonia Family Restaurant.
We as a district believe that it is very important to go through this process with complete transparency. If you have unanswered questions feel free to direct them to email@example.com or call Superintendent Karrels at 262.692. 2489 ext. 402.
- Open House Wednesday, February 28th at 7 PM in NOSD Cafeteria/Auditorium
- Open House Wednesday, March 21st at 7 PM in NOSD Cafeteria/Auditorium
- Coffee with the Superintendent Friday, March 23rd at 8:30 AM at Fredonia Family Restaurant
- Vote by absentee ballot throughout March. Dates and locations vary based on your residence. Click here for more information
- VOTE Tuesday, April 3rd at your local polling place
Tax Impact Calculator
Tax Impact Calculator
*Actual increase will vary depending on municipality of residence and represents an increase to current school debt taxes.