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School board approves space planning process

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River Falls, 54022

River Falls Wisconsin 2815 Prairie Drive / P.O. Box 25 54022

With the city of Hudson's refusal to rezone the dog track for a secondary school site, the Hudson Board of Education gave its official approval to move ahead on a multi-phase plan that looks to find both short-term and longer term solutions to space needs at Hudson Middle School and Hudson High School.

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The plan was presented by Superintendent Mary Bowen-Eggebraaten at last week's school board meeting.

Calling it an internal process, Phase 1 of the short-term plan is something that the district has already been working on. It will determine the most critical short-term needs at both schools and get internal input from administrators and teachers on the best options available. The plan will focus on non-build options.

The superintendent said the phase 1 plan should be in front of the school board by their February meeting.

Phase 2 is a multi-year plan designed to provide relief for a longer period of time before a long-term solution can be implemented. Phase 2 will be dependent on whether a referendum to purchase property and build is passed or fails.

If it passes, the plan calls for short-term options for three to four years during construction. If a referendum fails, the plan calls for a multiple year solution.

In a related action, the board approved to allocate $3.4 million from the district's general fund to be used to support a short-term fix for secondary space needs. That would leave approximately $15.1 million in the general fund which by policy remains within the 25-30 percent of the district's total budget. Money from the general fund has been used to cover the cost of the recent Hudson Middle School addition and used in the construction of River Crest Elementary School.

General fund money has also been used to lower the school tax levy for the past several years.

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