In January 2017, the Shell Lake School Board passed a resolution seeking a bond referendum. A community-wide survey was then taken, and the results were that residents leaned heavily towards constructing a new wing onto the 3-12 building that would accommodate the preK-2 facility.

An energy efficiency company inspected and evaluated the primary school and found significant mechanical and electrical improvements would be required at a hefty price of somewhere around eight million dollars. Alternatively, the cost to build additional space onto the existing 3-12 building would include these improvements and provide more learning areas at an approximate cost of ten to twelve million dollars.

In December of 2017, the facilities committee recommended to the school board that they go to an April referendum with two questions posed to the public.

The first question seeks 12.2 million dollars to add a preK-2 wing onto the existing 3-12 building.

The second question seeks 3.5 million dollars to add an additional gym/performance area to the existing 3-12 building. This extra space will provide greater flexibility in scheduling athletic events, music performances, guest speakers and community events. Some of these events are now being held at the Shell Lake Arts Center for a sizable rental fee which will be virtually eliminated by a new school venue.

The estimated tax impact the first project building of the PK-2 school will cost those owning a home valued at:

  • $75,000.00 will be $138.00 per year or $11.50 per month
  • $100,000 home will be $185.00 per year or $15.42 a month
  • $150,000 home will be $277.50 per year or $23.13 per month

Costs for the second project, the gym/performance center would be:

  • $75.000 home will be $39.00 per year or $3.25 per month
  • $100.000 home will be $53 per year or $4.42 per month
  • $150.000 home will be $79.50 per year or $6.63 per month

There are two public referendums Information sessions coming up, and the community is invited to attend. These will both held during the month of March. The first one on Wednesday, March 7 from 4p until 7p at the 3-12 building, 271 Highway 63.

The second session on Tuesday, March 13 from 4p to 7p at the primary school building located at 31 Third Street.

The last major school construction project was back in 1993 when the 3-12 building was initially constructed, and the PK-2 building was built back in 1959. Enrollment is up twenty-three percent making the current population 704 students.

The PK-2 building and the thirteen acres around it can then be available to be purchased by developers for possible senior housing or any other type of housing needed to meet Shell Lake's needs.

The final vote is slated for Tuesday, April 3, so the next two meetings are your chance to garner all the information you'll need to cast your vote.

[Note: Images used courtesy of "Vote Yes & Yes for Shell Lake" Facebook page]

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