De Soto students hope referendum passes - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

De Soto students hope referendum passes

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DE SOTO, Wisconsin (WXOW)-- Voters in the De Soto school district will face a school referendum on the April ballot.

The nearly $5 million project would help update facilities at a building that serves as the high school and middle school.

A larger referendum failed in 2009, but voters did approve a smaller one in 2010. That money funded renovations at the elementary school.

The existing building was constructed in 1953 and originally meant for grades 9-12, but now serves grades 6-12.

"The middle school was added on but no additional space for those extra classes and after school activities," said Superintendent Jim Kuchta.

Elizabeth Boardman, a high school junior, wants voters to approve the referendum to update facilities at the school including the cafeteria and the gym.

"Right now I'm in softball so I split the gym with the baseball players and the track people," Elizabeth said. "So it goes from one person pushing one person out to the next."

Also competing for gym space is Kody Larson and the high school baseball team.

"This morning, I had morning practice already that started at 5:45, and then after school girls have the gym right away for softball and then after that I have practice," Kody said. "So I'm probably not going to get home until 8:30."

Another space students say needs an upgrade: the library, which serves more than 300 students.

"The library, we try to use it like what you use it for but it's hard because we're all packed in," Elizabeth said.

Kody agrees.

"You go in there to try and use a computer but they're always full. And when you get in there, it's always loud, hard to study."

Kody is a senior and Elizabeth is a junior, so they wouldn't really see the benefits of the referendum's renovations, but they say it's about the community.

"Just everything being crammed for lunch, the library, just everything. So, I want other people to get what I didn't get," Kody said.

"It'd be the kids right under me that would get the benefits but I still want the school for them because we work really hard in school and we all deserve that, I think," Elizabeth added.

For tax payers, the referendum amounts to a $65 a year tax increase on a $100,000 home.

The district is holding an information session about the proposal Tuesday night at the high school at 7 PM.

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