08/21/2019- The Marinette Schools’ Board of Education continued its discussion about right-sizing the district’s facilities last night. The talks came as a follow-up to Superintendent Dr. Wendy Dzurick’s report last month about the outcome of a recently completed facilities study and the work of a community advisory team who recommended a new three building configuration, closing the Garfield, Merryman, and Sunrise locations. According to Dr. Dzurick, local resident enrollment could fall by up to 400 students over the next ten years and, with fewer students, the district will require less space, and will also have less revenue authority. Dr. Dzurick says consolidating the facilities could offer up to $600000 in annual savings, as well as create a proactive approach to correcting staffing issues and crafting future programming decisions.
“We want to confidently use attrition to down-size our staff and you can do that if you have a plan and you know where you’re going.”
During their conversations, the community advisory committee also reviewed 4- and 5-building options, which Board Member Lee Kuntz wants to see included in public information sessions about right-sizing. And, Board Member Eric Craver says they will be, but it’s the board’s responsibility to provide some kind of guidance.
“Everything is still on the table. What I’m hearing with the 3-building option is: one, it’s a place to start and we’re starting with the most fiscally-responsible option- that being the most-effective and most-efficient; and, that that starting place is reflective of the findings of the committee.”
The Board of Education approved a motion to move forward with listening sessions and development of a survey to gather public input on consolidation options. A final decision on the future of the district’s facilities is not expected until next July.