Onalaska school referendum passes

Residents vote yes to all 3 questions

Onalaska residents voted yes to all three School District of Onalaska School referendum questions Tuesday.

Question one on the ballot asked for the school district to exceed state funding by $1.9 million for ongoing operational expenses.  (1,494 yes; 864 no)

Question two asked to go above state funding for technology by $500,000 every year for the next five years. (1,494 yes; 864 no)

Question three asked for bonds of $16 million for construction/remodel of Northern Hills and Irving Pertzsch Elementary Schools. (1,528 yes; 835 no) Northern Hills will get an addition and be remodeled and renovated. At Irving Pertzsch Elementary School, the gymnasium will be converted to additional classrooms and a new gym will be built.

District officials broke into a cheer Tuesday when the numbers were announced.  Superintendent Fran Finco says he wasn’t sure what to expect, “We knew we had to get out message out and the message was we’ve got a good product,” says Finco, “we’re able to create a good product of college and career ready kids and we’re doing it in a fiscally responsible manner and we knew if we could get that message out that it would, we hoped that it would resonate with people.”

After one night of celebrating, it’s back to work for a district that has to plan the remodel of two elementary schools.  “We’ve got all that work to do in terms of planing,” says Finco, “we have to meet with community members and teachers and parents and even kids, what do you want the addition to your school to look like.”

The district is planning a meeting right away on Wednesday to get the project moving.