Platteville School Referendum on the Ballot

Improving building accessibility and athletic activity complex at high school


Morgan Fuerstenberg graphic

The Nov. 8 ballot will include a $36 million referendum for the Platteville School District to improve many school district buildings in terms of accessibility and safety, quality of kitchen and cafeterias, the addition of more bathrooms and major improvements to the outdoor activity complex at the high school.

The referendum arrived after a 2015 approval of a “long-range plan to improve our school buildings,” as stated by the PSD information pamphlet on the current referendum. The 2015 referendum improved the security in the Platteville high school and middle school, Westview Elementary and Neal Wilkins Early Learning Center.

Since then, changes to the PSD have become more necessary as the district has seen a steady increase in student enrollment in the past decade. Enrollments for the 2022-23 academic year reached 1,564 students for the district, but, spending designated for upkeeping the schools has decreased.

Jim Boebel, superintendent of PSD, met with the Exponent to elaborate on the referendum.

According to Boebel, the referendum this year mainly focuses on the high school, with potential changes being in the cafeteria and kitchen renovations, as well as a new parking lot, auditorium renovations and an outdoor activities center. 

Boebel explained how these upgrades would help the students and the community. 

The kitchen and cafeteria improvements will assist in more comfortable dining in the high school. The new parking lot will allow for better parking. The renovation for the auditorium allows for more accessible entrances. 

The outdoor activity center will be renovated to an 8-lane track (compared to the current 6-lane); the interior of the track would become regulation artificial turf. Additionally, there will be new bleachers to encourage more community engagement.

Some of the priority projects at Platteville Middle School will be additional bathrooms and classrooms as well as renovations to classrooms and the gym’s storage. The new bathrooms will most likely be single-stall units, which will be inclusive for not only students with disabilities but also gender-non-conforming students.

Westview Elementary School will receive changes to their parking lot so parent pick-up and drop-off areas are safer for students. 

Finally, Neal Wilkins Early Learning Center will have upgrades to their kitchen and cafeteria as well as an added gymnasium.

The maximum tax impact per year of this referendum is an increase of $0.69 per $1,000 fair market property value for the next 21 years. This means that a property with a fair market value of $100,000 would, at maximum, increase in the annual property tax by $68.

The mill rate, though, has been on a steady decline in recent years, even considering the 2015 and 2022 referendums. Currently, the mill rate is $7.62 per $1,000 fair market property value. The maximum increase of $0.69 per $1,000 fair market value could, in the 21 years of the condition, increase the mill rate to $8.31, which is still lower than the 2018-2021 mill rates.

Boebel expressed how important it is for UW-Platteville students to not only vote, but also to make an educated and informed decision on what they are voting on.