(Keshena, Wis.) Voters overwhelmingly approved a $35 million budget Menominee Indian School District Referendum on Tuesday April 5, 2002. (769 yes votes / 284 no votes); which means the district will continue with plans to build a new high school in Keshena. This will pave the way for the eventual transfer of middle school to the current high school and the expansion and improvement of Keshena Elementary School.
“First and foremost, I want to thank the community for coming out to vote and supporting this referendum,” MISD Superintendent Wendell Waukau said. “This was truly a referendum on the future of our Menominee children. We are grateful to the individuals and groups who organized to support the effort and rally voters, including the Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin. Everyone has worked hard to spread the word about the plan’s need and financial responsibility.
“This is an exciting time for our district, our community and our students,” said MISD School Board Chairman David ‘Jonesy’ Miller. “We will now be able to move forward with a facilities plan that meets the needs of our growing enrollment and provides our students with the tools, programs and facilities that will help them succeed now and in the future. »
The district will now begin work on the final design of the new high school with the architect/builder Somerville Architects and Engineers. The design will be culturally relevant, connecting nature, learning and community; built with natural and sustainable materials. Features of the 110,000 square foot school will include:
- Larger, technology-equipped classrooms
- Extensive labs for Menominee language, arts and food, including a Menominee art teaching studio
- Larger multi-functional tech and science labs, including areas for wood, metal, automotive, agriculture, and food/harvest
- Basic collaboration spaces and flexible collaboration spaces
- FACE lab with six food stations for culinary education
- Special education areas, including life skills class space, restrooms, and small group meeting space
- Expanded hall for music and choir programs
- Land with adequate space for sports, fitness and wellness programs, classes and activities, student-athletes and coaches, and availability for community use
- A school forest will be created, offering opportunities for cultural and environmental programming.
The new secondary school will be built on a 40-acre parcel of land off Warrington Rd., behind Save-a-Lot in Keshena. In exchange for the land, which is currently owned by MITW. The tribe will receive the existing MIMS building/land in Neopit, after the school moves to the current MIHS building. This will happen after the new secondary school is occupied by students, which is expected to take place in the fall of 2024.
As part of MISD’s facilities plan, Keshena Primary School will also be expanded, adding classrooms and a new gymnasium. The details of this project have not yet been finalized.
The financial impact of the referendum for property taxpayers will be approximately $2.99 per thousand equalized value of their home over the next five years and then decline thereafter.