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Referendum recommendation coming in November

By Sarah Nigbor PRESCOTT -At the Oct. 21 Prescott School Board meeting, Facility Advisory Committee member Tom Magnan updated the school board on the committee's progress and process. The goal is for the FAC to have three recommendations by the November board meeting, in order for the board to choose one option for a February referendum vote.

The FAC, which is comprised of community See REFERENDUM Page 10 members Harold Clement, Elizabeth Riley-Gergen, Roger Hulne, Karen Lehman, Woodson Lynes, Magnan, Kate Otto, Brady Randolph, Brittany Randolph, Dan Roth and Veronica Wittek, as well as school board members Vicki Rudolph and Pat Block, has been meeting monthly since Aug. 10 to discuss the district’s building and maintenance needs.

Magnan said the FAC is considering three questions when narrowing down facility needs:

•What are the must-do things to maintain our buildings?

•What are the must-do things to provide a safe and secure building?

•What are the must-do things to provide quality education?

“We are pretty unified in taking care of the building envelopes and preventing deterioration of the buildings,” Magnan said. “Most of our discussion is on the buildings’ infrastructure.”

For example, is a new back-up generator needed if the current one is working? Are parts and service still available? What preventive maintenance items can we do now in order to control the costs? The FAC is hashing out its priorities, Magnan said.

“The important challenge I think is going to be to educate our community and make sure they understand what we’re trying to accomplish here,” said Magnan.

Many of the items being considered are generational maintenance concerns, not annual.

“I think one of the biggest, maybe struggle isn’t the right word, that the committee has been having is how do you separate spending money on maintenance versus what is a bigger picture item?” Block said.

He said it’s tough to figure out how to balance needed items now with potential future “asks” on deferred items: Master planning/ future growth versus deferred maintenance.

“We really need to understand the things not done this time, when will they need to be done and how much will that cost?” Block said. “A great communication plan will be critical. If we do up to this point, what remains on the plate and when does that come due?”

The FAC will next meet Nov. 3. Once three options are realized, the school board plans to have a workshop meeting toward the end of November to pick one final option for the February referendum question.

To learn more, visit www.prescott.k12.wi.us/district/facilitiesplanning. cfm

October 27, 2021