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School board moves forward on $100 million referendum

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News River Falls,Wisconsin 54022
Hudson Star Observer
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School board moves forward on $100 million referendum
River Falls Wisconsin 2815 Prairie Drive / P.O. Box 25 54022

The Hudson School Board took the first steps to bringing a near $100 million referendum to voters in November general election.

The referendum will have two questions. The first will be for the construction of a three year high school for 1650 students, and the conversion and remodel of the current high school to grades 8-9 and the current middle school to grades 6-7. The administrative offices, IT department and training area will be moved to the former high school.


The first question also includes the purchase of approximately 67 acres at the northwest corner of County F and Red Brick Road at a cost of $7.4 million. The cost per acre is $60,000. The land cost also includes off-site utilities, road improvements and the cost of home demolition and relocation on the property.

The total price tag on question 1 is $104,965,828. That amount is being offset by $5 million from the district’s general fund reducing the cost of question 1 to 99,965,828.

Question 2 asks voters to approve an 850 seat auditorium at the new high school at an additional cost of $6,549,400.

According to a finance plan presented at the meeting, the cost of question 1 to district taxpayers would be $1.15 per $1,000 of home value or $230 a year on a $200,000 home. The cost of question 2 would be $.13 per $1,000 of home value or $26 annually on the same home.

The district’s financial advisor estimated that interest on the bonds would be at an average of 4.3 percent over the 20-year repayment period. He noted that the impact on taxpayers of the new bonds will be mitigated as the district retires current debt.

The board approved the purchase agreement, the referendum budget proposal, the allocation from the general fund and the finance plan by a 6-0 vote. Board member Sandy Gehrke was not present at the meeting.

The board is expected to finalize the referendum questions at a meeting later this month. More specific details can be found in the Aug. 21 issue of the Star-Observer.

Meg Heaton
Meg Heaton has been a reporter with the Hudson Star Observer since 1990. She has a bachelor’s degree in anthropology and Native American Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire.
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