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Referendum sought for school roof replacement
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SHULLSBURG—The Shullsburg School District will be pursuing a referendum to replace the school’s roof.
The referendum, potentially on May 8, would allow the school to borrow $1,375,000 to completely replace the school’s roof.
“We have some significant areas that are leaking,” district administrator Loras Kruser said. “The insulation is saturated with water, making it ineffective. There are buckets of water in various places. We have to replace ceiling tiles at all of those locations.”
Kruser said the project would replace the flat roof with a slightly sloped roof.
The $1.375 million project would be paid in 2016-18 by extending the school’s current debt service payments of approximately $400,000 each year. The school’s existing bonds will be paid off by 2015.
The mill rate impact for 2012-13 is anticipated to be 34 cents per $1,000 of valuation. A $100,000 property would see an increase of $34; a $150,000 property would be increased by $51.
Kruser said the district paid $7,500 for a band-aid fix of the worst parts, but there are still some leaks causing problems for the school.
“Those repairs don’t even begin to touch what we need to do,” Kruser said.
The current roof was last replaced in 1996. The new roof will have a minimal slope and some changes to the structure. Kruser said the roof will be replaced in two phases with the worst portion replaced this summer and the rest done in 2013.
On Feb. 15 the Shullsburg School Board also discussed the budget for the 2012-13 school year. The board is looking at some significant changes, including adding a principal. Kruser has been acting as both administrator and principal for the K-12 school. The board has conducted interviews for the principal position, which will have a salary of $75,000 (total package of approximately $106,000).
The district is in a tricky financial situation, like most other schools in the area, because of cuts at the state level. Kruser said the school will be short $92,149 from last year’s revenue.
“We’re behind before we even get started,” Kruser said.
With the addition of a principal, teacher contract step and lane movements and other projected increases to the budget, the district is facing a $293,194 deficit. The board has been discussing areas to make cuts.
“At this point nothing is off the table,” Kruser said.
While other schools are issuing layoff notices to employees to meet union deadlines, the Shullsburg School District has until May 1, although they plan to make decisions in March. Kruser doesn’t anticipate any reductions of teachers because of the projected enrollment. He did discuss reducing the teachers’ contracts, although the board agreed that it would hurt staff morale and could potentially impact their teaching.
“Unless we cut a program and the teacher of that program, we won’t see the savings we need,” Kruser said.
The district will look at working with other schools to share staff and save money.