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Mequon-Thiensville school board looks to keep facilities as they are

June 25, 2012

Mequon - After reviewing seven different options for facilities reconfigurations at a working meeting Monday night, district officials and school board members indicated that it would be the best course of action to keep facilities as they are and invest money in maintenance.

The seven options, as presented by Project Executive Nicholas Kent of Plunkett Raysich Architects, were the result of a facilities study commissioned by the school board earlier this year which sought to find potential savings in reconfigurations of the district. Option one, which the school board favored, provides no reconfiguration and instead details maintenance projects the district will need to address in the next one to two years, and comes with a price tag of approximately $2.6 million.

The other options included reconfigurations which would consolidate the district's middle schools, close or sell Lake Shore Middle School and Range Line Elementary, build additions to various schools, move middle school students to the high school, or close all but one of the elementary and middle schools before building a new K-6 building - among other reconfigurations aimed at creating operational savings in the district.

The least expensive option, next to option one, would cost the district approximately $6.3 million and would create approximately $125,000 in annual operational savings. The most expensive option, which would move seventh and eighth grade to Homestead High School, build a new K-6 building, move sixth grade to Oriole Lane Elementary, Donges Bay Elementary and the new school, and would sell or close Lake Shore Middle School, Range Line Elementary, Steffen Middle School and Wilson Elementary, would cost approximately $39.6 million and would save the district approximately $188,000 annually.

School board members and officials expressed concern over how the district would fund such projects, and whether the annual savings would be worth such costs.

"I believe that the seven options are telling you there are no savings," Superintendent Demond Means told the school board. "My recommendation is that your only option is option one."

The school board will bring the subject up for action at its July 16 regular meeting.

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