Source: Lake Geneva Regional News

Public meeting set for Woods referendum

by Steve Targo

September 19, 2013

GENEVA — The way Woods Administrator Ed Brzinski described it, the reaction has been positive to the school board’s $5.55 million referendum project, which voters will approve or deny Nov. 5.

“The reaction we’re getting is that it seems to be we’re getting a lot for the money,” Brzinski said on the phone Sept. 12. “The board has done a good job of getting everything out there. People have been very understanding and very supportive of the board and its efforts.”

On Wednesday, Sept. 25, people can learn more about the project, which calls for adding 22,000 square feet to the school, revising the main entrance and revamping the kitchen. The school board’s first public information meeting on it is set for 5 to 7 p.m.

If approved, it’s expected to cost district taxpayers an extra $56 a year per $100,000 of assessed value.

“Our goal is just to answer any questions the community may have and to just explain the process that we took to get to this point,” Brzinski said.

Architect Bill Henry, Elkhorn; a representative from Scherrer Construction, Burlington; and a financial planner are expected to attend. Brzinski said another information meeting is set for Oct. 17, from 6 to 8 p.m.

Brzinski answered some questions about the proposed project in an Aug. 21 interview. He said lack of space and security concerns were chief motivators behind the project, which began when a committee was established December 2011.

Plans for the referendum project call for building a new, middle school regulation-sized gymnasium. The current gym would then be used as a cafeteria and auditorium.

Despite the beauty of the room itself, the gym is problematic, Brzinski said previously. It’s not large enough for sporting functions outside of gym class and they’re using it also for classroom space, he said.

On Sept. 12, Brzinski said people haven’t questioned the gym aspect of the referendum project.

“I think most people, when you discuss the gym, they’ve been very supportive about that,” he said. “They seem to understand that need very well. If they’ve ever been to a sporting event here, they know.”

The most commonly asked questions, Brzinski said, are about the main entrance and the kitchen.

The project calls for changing the entrance.

Currently, people immediately access the school’s main corridor after someone either buzzes them in or opens the door for them.

The project calls for adding another set of double doors to the main corridor, thereby routing people through the main office. That way, visitors can sign in, which is a requirement at the school, Brzinski said previously.

“Even though we tell kids not to open that door, sometimes they might,” he said Aug. 21.

“That’s the wild card. Students are polite. They might recognize a face (but) we should have control over who enters the building.”

The project also calls for upgrading kitchen equipment to meet the requirements of a hot lunch program.

On Sept. 12, Brzinski said people have asked about how the kitchen will look and the future of the lunch program.