West Salem residents have two referendum questions
on their April 1-st ballot.
One is to exceed the state's revenue cap by 500-thousand
And the other is to borrow 32-million dollars to build
a new middle school.
But the school district and students wouldn't be the
only ones to benefit from a new building.
News eight's Kyle Dimke is here with more on this
Lisa......When the process began 2 years ago .
the school district looked into just remodeling the
current middle school.
But architects soon found the district would benefit
from repurposing the school and building a new middle
So the challenge became trying to find something to
fill the empty space.
And two local organizations have made that easy by
saying the space would be perfect for them.
West Salem Superintendent Troy Gunderson says a new
middle school .
is the right decision long-term.
TG: 10- When you do those numbers out over a 20 year
period those make sense.
Its not cheapest at the start but its cheapest over
the long haul.
And by leasing out the current middle school to groups
like the Boys and Girls Club of the Greater La Crosse
Area and the West Salem Hockey Association .
The district isn't the only group that benefits.
TG: 6- Both of those groups have been seeking to create
facilities in West Salem that could be in total cost
nearly 6 million dollars, maybe 3 million dollars
By doing this kind of thing they're going to be able
to do this for way less than half of that.
JH: 4- We're looking at somewhere between 6 and 7
hundred thousand dollars possible savings.
John Hammes from the West Salem Hockey Association
says they've been looking for a new facility for about
JH: 2- We've looked at multiple different locations,
but one thing that's been in common is we want to
find something close to the schools because we know
our program will succeed and strive if we're within
walking distance of the schools.
And he says sharing the middle school with the Boys
and Girls club could really benefit both groups.
JH: 5- In this facility there would be multiple times
where we could help each other out.
They could use our facility to entertain the kids
that come and use the boys and girls club and in return
we hope we get more kids interested in playing the
game of hockey
But all three groups know this won't become a reality
unless the referendum passes.
TG: 14- With a hundred acre campus and modern updated
facilities and then amenities like hockey and boys
and girls club right on your campus, we certainly
be, you couldn't draw it up any better thats for sure.
The Boys and Girls Club has already had an architect
and contractor look at how to remodel the building
for their group.
They would use about half of the school including
the main floor, gym and music area,
And the hockey association would use the north side
of the building for their locker rooms and concession
Then build the ice rink attached to the North side
of the school.
The school district said there is still about 20 thousand
square feet of the current middle school that could
be used by other organizations.