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Boscobel School Board moving forward with November referendum of $6.9M
We are going to educate the community
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After a failed attempt to move forward with ACT 32 building improvements without a referendum, the Boscobel School board met on Tuesday night to have a committee meeting to discuss what they needed to do in order to move forward with a referendum in November. The board was joined by H&H vice president Josh Kaurich to help get the process started.

“We are going to educate the community, because we need to fix a few things in our school,” Director of Operations Steve Wacker said. “Our kids are worth it and their health is important. Many don’t see it now, but down the road we want them to be healthy as well. We have to make a referendum happen. Sooner or later we either end up with a school that we go to or the students go somewhere else and I hope the public realizes that.”

Wacker started off the meeting by presenting the board with the current list of projects that will be worked on. The projects range from lighting, electrical upgrades, HVAC and building controls, plumbing, exterior building and envelope repairs, and interior building and envelope improvements. The total for all projects is currently totaling around $6,902,379. The price has been reduced because the sewer system, switches, fiber optics and new phone system are being done separately from the referendum.

Informing Community

Kaurich presented the board with a referendum committee kick-off agenda, explaining the process and ideas he had to get the word out to the community. Kaurich explained to the board the importance of getting all the information possible out to the community. He recommended sending out informational brochures, forming a board and community committee on the referendum, making the information readily available on the school website and having at least three or more public meetings to inform the community.

“Public meetings should be very welcomed with a lot of good questions and answers,” Kaurich said. “We need to advertise it in the paper and on the radio. We have a lot of information, so a good website or a video would be a good thing to have.”

After receiving feedback from the community, board member Derek Zimpel explained that he thought it would be a good idea to have a public forum at the high school. That way there could be a presentation and the school district could really sell the community on the things that the school needs.

“I agree with you,” Kaurich said. “I like the idea of more public forums. I am by no means an expert here, but I just went through some public meetings in another town like this where people were pretty upset at first, but they became open to it by the third meeting. They took tours of the school and saw what they were doing and really dug into the financial impact.”

The board was pretty confident that if they could get people to attend the meetings and do whatever it takes to get them informed, they would be able to get the community to back the November referendum. They feel that many people that signed the petition opposing the $10 million ACT 32 resolution were misinformed on what the school was trying to do and if they could just make them understand they would have their backing.

“The public was misinformed and really had no clue what we were doing,” board member Chuck Owens said. “People were unable to attend the forum, so I think if people knew more about what we’re doing, they would change their mind.”

Zimpel recommended, that the information be provided to the community in a hands-on way versus the internet, just because that is the type of community Boscobel is. He feels they are more likely to respond with a hands-on approach versus just putting something on a website because not everyone uses the Internet.