$15.7 million referendum on table to improve La Crosse school - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

$15.7 million referendum on table to improve La Crosse school

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LA CROSSE, Wisconsin (WXOW) - Northside Elementary School principal Laura Huber wants to create a school that's appearance matches the quality of education provided.

"I want to see, even as you drive by, when you look at the building you say, ‘looks like excellent instruction is going on there,'" she said.

Huber is referring to the structure of Northside Elementary School. Parts of the Roosevelt and Franklin campuses date back to the early 1900s.

"If you look very closely, this wall is starting to bow in. One of the structural issues we'll have to deal with," said Joe Ledvina, La Crosse School District supervisor of buildings and grounds.

The buildings had some renovations. But they were just temporary fixes to a flawed structure.

"What you see is sagging in the floors. We're starting to see around the country, collapses," Ledvina said.

"They're concerned about what's really going on here or why the principal has to shoot between two different buildings. You know, that isn't fair to her either," said Kelly Mayer, a Northside Elementary School mom. "I did have my neighbor choose to enroll their children in a totally different school in that school district just because she felt that needs weren't being met sometimes."

Mayer is a mother of eight. Her children have attended both the Franklin and Roosevelt campuses.

She's in favor of a $15.7 million referendum to rebuild Northside Elementary into one large, new school.

"How much money do you put into something that we don't know how long it's gonna last? You know, how much do you put into your car if you know it's just a lemon? And you know, making sure our kids have the best," Mayer said.

"I'm confident in the voters. I think that we are a public school and the voters know best about what needs to happen," Huber said.

The vote is on the Nov. 6th ballot and has already failed twice.

"If the voters think this isn't the way we need to go, we will rethink doing things," Huber said.

The referendum is estimated to cost an average household up to $2 per month.

If the referendum does fail, the board will do a cheaper renovation to both buildings.

The proposed new school building will also house Coulee Montessori School.

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