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Referendum Frequently Asked Questions

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QUESTION NUMBER I

Shall the School District of Edgerton, Dane, Jefferson and Rock Counties, Wisconsin be authorized to issue pursuant to Chapter 67 of the Wisconsin Statutes, general obligation bonds in an amount not to exceed $40,600,000 for the public purpose of paying the cost of a school building and improvement program consisting of: the construction of an addition and related reconfiguration and renovations at Community Elementary School; renovations at the High School, including the science labs, commons and office; District-wide building infrastructure and capital maintenance improvements, safety and security upgrades and site improvements; and acquisition of furnishings, fixtures and equipment?

o Yes o No

QUESTION NUMBER II

Shall the School District of Edgerton, Dane, Jefferson and Rock Counties, Wisconsin be authorized to exceed the revenue limit specified in Section 121.91, Wisconsin Statutes, by $1,250,000 beginning with the 2018-2019 school year, for recurring purposes consisting of supporting additional space, recruiting and retaining staff, and enhancing educational opportunities?

o Yes o No

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A CAPITAL REFERENDUM is also known as a bond referendum. It is used for facility improvements such as remodeling or building projects, improving safety features, upgrading or replacing equipment, fixtures or furnishings, to name a few. This is typically reserved for larger facility upgrades that cost more money. That is where the "bond" comes in; the district secures a bond (or loan) to pay for the facility projects over time, similar to a home loan. A capital referendum has a lower tax impact, because repayment is over a longer period of time, typically 20 years.

An OPERATIONAL REFERENDUM asks voters for permission to exceed the state imposed revenue limit for the purpose of funding annual school operations. Costs associated for school operations include, but are not limited to: employee salary and benefits, student technology software and devices, curriculum and student programming, utility and transportation costs, and general maintenance and custodial expenses.

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Facilities Assessment: In December 2016, the School Board authorized a comprehensive study of all District schools. At the culmination of the study, which was achieved with key industry experts, Bray Architects and JP Cullen, the School Board authorized the creation of a Facility Advisory Committee (FAC). The FAC, made up of parents, staff and community members, was charged with identifying and confirming needs as well as exploring potential solutions to our District's PreK-12 facility needs. The committee of 35 members met 17 times between September 2017 and June 2018.

Tours of Other District Facilities: In addition to these meetings, members of the Facility Advisory Committee toured other school districts that have recently undergone new construction or renovations. The tours included recently constructed Beloit Fran Fruzen Intermediate School, Parkview High School renovations (included the addition of a Secure entryway) and the recently constructed East Troy Elementary School.

Community Survey: In May of 2018 the District sent out a community-wide survey to District residents on our facility needs. The District secured the services of School Perceptions to develop, administer, analyze data and distribute the survey results.

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Through the comprehensive district-wide facility assessment effort, needs of varying types were identified throughout all buildings. These needs were organized and prioritized into the following categories:

        Improve School Security

The safety of our students and staff is a priority. Updates are needed at all of our schools to reconfigure school entrances to better monitor and control visitor access to our facilities. In addition, there is a need to create dedicated bus and vehicle drop-off and pick-up lanes to better separate vehicles and pedestrians.

        Address Facility Maintenance

Over the past year, the District updated the capital maintenance plan which identified the need to replace portions of our building systems, including heating, cooling, electrical, plumbing and roof sections which are at the end of their service life. In addition, lighting, interior finishes, including flooring, ceiling tiles and cabinetry will need to be replaced. Updates are also needed to the restrooms to address Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) code compliance.

        Address Educational Inadequacies Many of the classrooms are too small and have not been updated since their original construction. The timeline of our facilities construction and renovations is as follows:

                      ○       Community Elementary built 1954, additions '57, '90
                      ○       Yahara Valley Elementary built in 1960, additions '70, '99
                      ○       High School built 1963, additions '73, '90, '99, 2000
                      ○       Middle School built 1979, addition '99

Today's classrooms require greater flexibility for both large and small group instruction and student collaboration, as well as greater electrical capacity to meet technology demands. The middle and high school science labs are in need of updates to create spaces to support hands-on, project-based, learning.  Improvements are also needed to support areas including the middle school library and cafeteria and high school commons.

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Expand & Renovate Community Elementary: Estimated Cost: $29.9 million

The $29.9 million solution will completely renovate the existing Community Elementary building as well as add an additional 46,000+ square feet of classroom space. The building will be designed to function as two separate schools: K-2 building and a 3-5 building with a shared cafeteria area. The size of the schools will be able to handle all district K-5 students and the projected ten year enrollment growth. When the project is complete the District will have two new schools inside and cosmetic upgrades to the exterior to compliment the total project.

For all intents and purposes, the $29.9 million solution is like building two schools with a capacity of 450 students each for approximately $15 million per school. As the facilities study team has reviewed other elementary projects around the state, this is a very cost-effective solution.

Address Security Entryways at Yahara and the Middle School - Estimated Cost: $95,000 Address district-wide building infrastructure needs - Estimated Cost: $2.13 million

Renovate High School Science Labs/Math/Special Education - Estimated Cost: $2.65 million

Renovate High School Commons/Cafeteria/Kitchen and Office Relocation for Secure Entry - Estimated Cost: $5.85 million

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In the School District of Edgerton, we have done an excellent job at "budget management" to support the students we serve and maintain the financial solvency of our district. However, we (our district and greater community) must acknowledge and evaluate a significant trend in K-12 Education. This trend is the approval of an operational referendum to exceed revenue caps that support organizational opportunities and outcomes.

A financial operational gap surrounds our school district as result of applied (and successful) operational referendums. Below are the tax-payer approved operational referendums that have passed in all five school districts that border Edgerton:

Through a per-pupil comparison, the above operational referendum allocations place the School District of Edgerton at a significant disadvantage. The table below serves as a comparison of the Edgerton School District's Per-Pupil Revenue Limit Authority of $9,571, to all bordering school districts (including operational referendum allocations). The "Net Budget Difference" projects the result of our revenue limit authority if our per-pupil limit was consistent with the districts outlined. For this comparison we are using a conservative enrollment calculation of 1,850 students. From an operational lens, this chart clearly outlines an imbalance in revenue to support our district operations.

2017-2018 Revenue Limit Comparison with Area Districts

Due to vulnerability of state-funding, the trend of operational referendums across the state due to state-funding gaps has been significant. Like many of these communities, we too, must recognize how we can support the operational demands of our educational institution, all in effort to support student learning and outcomes. Without this consideration, our school district and community will be at a disadvantage to support student opportunities and retain/attract highly skilled staff.

As a school district, we recognize this financial disparity and have an understanding of how our organization is vulnerable as we evaluate expenditure opportunities that support our organization. In addition to known expenditure needs within the organization, the district reviewed expenditure trends that are result of the clear revenue imbalances that bordering school districts are able to apply. In an effort to understand how these revenue imbalances negatively impact the operation of our schools, a three-pronged review was established to support awareness (see below).

1). Programs and Staffing Trends:

2). Budget Allocations:
3). Compensation Comparisons:

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Our needs analysis as we review expenditure outcomes establishes more than $2,400,000 in operational costs that exceed current revenue. Outlined below are the financial projections associated with our expenditure gaps (per year):

1). Programs and Staffing:
2). Budget Allocations
3). Compensation

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While district budget needs are in excess of $2.4 million, the Board of Education and leadership understand the tax-impact of such a significant community-ask. From a revenue comparison (see chart above), Edgerton School District's revenue allocation is nearly $2,000,000 below current revenue cap limit in relationship to boarding school districts. That said, the Board of Education is seeking $1,250,000 to support an allocation of 60% of comparable revenue as it relates to surrounding school districts.

Should the Operational Referendum pass, the school district would be have the ability to:

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For Question #1: The projected tax-impact of a $40.6 million bond would be $0.45 per/$1,000 of fair market value.
However, the net tax-impact of this proposed referendum projects to be less given school finance projections. Please see chart below for more detail.

For Question #2: The projected tax-impact of a $1,250,000 recurring operational referendum amounts to $1.05 per/$1,000 of fair market value.
However, the net tax-impact of this proposed referendum projects to be less given school finance projections. Please see chart below for more detail.

TO CALCULATE YOUR PROJECTED TAX IMPACT: https://www.edgerton.k12.wi.us/taximpact

Tax Impact Chart


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Yes, due to the significant amount of heavy remodeling and additional space being added at Community Elementary School and the High School, it provides an opportunity to update mechanical systems at the same time, resulting in all areas of Community Elementary and the High School being air conditioned (e.g., competition gymnasium, second art room across from gymnasium, ag and tech ed classrooms on the west side of high school, and science/math wing). The amount of work taking place at the Middle School or Yahara Elementary includes a minor amount of remodel, and therefore does not provide the same opportunity to efficiently update mechanical systems to include air conditioning at this time.

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Findings from the comprehensive district-wide facility study were prioritized from high to low. The estimated total cost of all needs is approximately $70 million. Due to the extensive cost to complete all the work, the needs will be addressed in phases. Phase I consists of the work completed in the $40.6 million referendum. These have been identified as the highest priority projects that fall within the tax tolerance of the Edgerton Community. Phase I addresses approximately 60% of the identified needs. The remaining 40% of projects will be will be integrated into the District's ten year capital maintenance plan. These projects will be completed in future phases.

For full facilities study - Click Here

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A recurring referendum to exceed the revenue limit allows the District to levy an additional tax above the allowable limit indefinitely, if needed. The tax is added to the base calculation of the revenue limit. A non-recurring referendum to exceed the revenue limit allows the District to levy an additional tax above the allowable limit for a given number of years, if needed. The tax has a "sunset" and once it is done, the District no longer has that authority to levy that tax. Given the needs of the District, the Board of Education is seeking a recurring operational referendum due projected operational expenses that are recurring costs (staffing, programs, and competitive compensation).

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The new site design creates a larger drop-off area with a dedicated parking lane for parents in front of Community Elementary and a separate bus pick-up/drop off area within a new parking lot. The goal is to create more space for parents to park during pick-up/drop-off in order to keep traffic in the drive lane moving through this high traffic area along Ridgway Street and Elm High Drive. In addition, the dedicated bus pick-up/drop-off area will separate the buses from the parent vehicles, which will reduce the congestion before/after school that currently happens when both buses and vehicles travel and park along Ridgeway Street at the same time. The new pick-up/drop-off area for both the buses and parents will include a continuous sidewalk along the entire length to provide a safe path for students, that will eliminate students crossing the road in front of cars or buses.

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Addition of a secure entrance and security cameras. Secure entries are building entrances that are identified for visitor access during school hours. This entry point on a school is used as a tool to help identify and slow down any potential threats to the school. They are typically designed to filter visitors through a security point, for example the main office, before they can enter the main portion of the school. Visitors are greeted by administrative staff members who can assist guests and track who is coming and going throughout the day. There are a number of active and passive safety measures that can be implemented as part of a secure entry; such as locked doors which are only unlocked via staff "buzzing" someone in or out, security cameras, intercom systems, and impact resistant glass/film.

What improvements have been made to Yahara in the past six years?

2012-2018

  1. New Boiler and Water Heater
  2. Add a water softener
  3. Electrical and Plumbing upgrades
  4. New roof and windows
  5. New carpet in the Library/Classrooms and in the Main Office
  6. New flooring in the hallways and gymnasium
  7. Energy Recovery Make-Up Air Units
  8. New parking lot
  9. Commercial dehumidifiers and air cleaners
  10. Treatment of the Ash trees (only trees in District to be treated)

Does the proposed solution address air conditioning at Yahara?

Not at this time. The amount of work taking place at the Middle School or Yahara Elementary includes a minor amount of remodel, and therefore does not provide the same opportunity to efficiently update mechanical systems which include air conditioning.

Does the proposed solution address air conditioning in any of the facilities?

Yes, due to the significant amount of heavy remodel and additional space being added at Community Elementary School and the High School, it provides an opportunity to update mechanical systems at the same time, resulting in all areas of the High School being air conditioned (e.g., competition gymnasium, second art room across from gymnasium, ag and tech ed classrooms on the west side of high school, and science/math wing). The amount of work taking place at the Middle School or Yahara Elementary includes a minor amount of remodel, and therefore does not provide the same opportunity to efficiently update mechanical systems to include air conditioning at this time.

What is the Energy Recovery Make-Up Air unit?

During the summer of 2017, the District installed the energy recovery make up unit on the roof of the Yahara school. This project entailed blocking off the outside air intakes in the existing univents in the classrooms. Then a rooftop unit and ducting to the classrooms and DDC control for the rooftop was installed. This unit conditions the outside air before sending it to the classrooms which dehumidifies the air and makes it more comfortable.

What are the long-range (or future) solutions for the projects not identified in this referendum?

Findings from the comprehensive district-wide facility study were prioritized from high to low. The estimated total cost of all needs is approximately $70 million. Due to the extensive cost to complete all the work, the needs will be addressed in phases. Phase I consists of the work completed in the $40.6 million referendum. These have been identified as the highest priority projects that fall within the tax tolerance of the Edgerton Community. Phase I addresses approximately 60% of the identified needs. The remaining 40% of projects will be will be integrated into the District's ten year capital maintenance plan. These projects will be completed in future phases.

What is the long-term status of Yahara and Community Elementary Schools?

During the past six years the District has invested in several facility upgrades at Yahara. The current space at Community Elementary is not adequate for the existing enrollment now. The District was advised by the architects that, given the scope of the Community Elementary School renovations, it would be unwise to preclude the ability to serve all elementary students at that site. Passing a referendum to renovate and add on to Community Elementary School does not imply Yahara's closure.

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Secure entries are building entrances that are identified for visitor access during school hours. This entry point is typically designed to filter visitors through a security point, for example the main office, before they can enter the main portion of the school. Visitors are greeted by administrative staff members who can assist guests and track who is coming and going throughout the day.

Recently Added

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Early estimates projected the mill-rate impact for both approved questions (Facilities and Operations) would be .98 cents/per $1000 of value. The reduction in mill-rate is a result of a finalized 8.6% property valuation increase for properties within the Edgerton School District (as determined by the Department of Revenue). While this significant property valuation increase supports decreasing the projected mill-rate of the referendum, the total dollar value of the tax -impact remains ($40.6 Million in Facilities and a $1.25 Million Recurring Operational Referendum).

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After a referendum passes, the project will go into full design. During the design phase, the budget will be updated at regular milestones to assure we are projecting to stay within the approved referendum amount. After design is complete, all aspects of the work will be put out for competitive bids to assure we are getting the best pricing and value possible. That process will lead by our Construction Manager JP Cullen, along with input from our Design Firm Bray Architects. All responses received will be reviewed with District Administration in an open and transparent format.



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