05/04/2020- Voters in the Menominee School District will make a major decision on the future of the district’s facilities tomorrow. Tuesday’s ballot contains a $44-million referendum question, which, if approved, would fund the consolidation of Central Elementary and Blesch Intermediate Schools into one newly-constructed building, as well as capital upgrades at the Junior/Senior High School. Josh Jones served on the referendum task force and says there are a number of deficiencies in the existing buildings which would cost as much to address in place as it would to build new and the proposed project would foster a more modern learning environment.
While the need to at least update the schools is clear, one thing that isn’t is exactly what happens to Blesch if the students are moved out. The intention is for the building to be repurposed, but Jones says those plans are harder to nail down without knowing if the referendum will be passed.
If approved, the referendum’s cost to the average tax payer in the district would be about $12 a month and the debt is expected to be repaid over 30 years. A reminder to voters that tomorrow’s election is being done primarily by mail, but those who did not receive an absentee ballot or still need to register have the option to cast an absentee ballot in person at the clerk’s office on Election Day prior to 8 p.m.