MAPS residents to vote on facilities referendum
School Board supports placing question on April 2024 ballot
On Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2024, the Merrill Area Public Schools (MAPS) Board of Education (BOE) approved presenting school district residents with a facilities improvement plan to make the best use of the district’s best facilities. School district residents will vote on the proposed plan on Tuesday, April 2, 2024. The referendum question will appear as follows on the ballot:
BE IT RESOLVED by the School Board of the Merrill Area Common Public School District, Lincoln and Langlade Counties, Wisconsin that there shall be issued pursuant to Chapter 67 of the Wisconsin Statutes, general obligation bonds in an amount not to exceed $16,000,000 for the public purpose of paying the cost of a school facility improvement project consisting of: renovations, site, and playground improvements at the Jefferson School building to accommodate the relocation of certain district programming; renovations at the High School and construction of a maintenance and operations building at the High School site; demolition of the current Northern Achievement Center, storage building, district office, and maintenance building; district-wide capital maintenance, infrastructure, and site improvements; and acquisition of furnishings, fixtures, and equipment.
MAPS has developed a plan to address the most pressing facilities issues and better utilize the district’s educational spaces. To address the challenges facing the district—funding, aging facilities, utilization, declining enrollment—a base plan was developed that would close four buildings and seek to sell the Pine River School for Young Learners (PRSYL) property. PRSYL, Bridges Virtual Academy (BVA), and the Northern Achievement Center (NAC) programming would move into the Jefferson Elementary building, following key updates and renovations to Jefferson. This move, which essentially takes four aging and outdated buildings offline, will provide operational efficiencies for the district moving forward.
Throughout the planning process, MAPS and the BOE actively sought staff and stakeholder input through district-hosted community focus groups and a community-wide survey in Fall 2023. The valuable feedback provided by over 1,500 district residents assisted in the final decision-making leading to the resolution at the January board meeting.
MAPS, in continued efforts to make the best use of their best buildings, has made it a priority to develop a plan to improve facilities and update the existing aging buildings and grounds.
District residents will have the opportunity to vote on a referendum question that requests permission for the District to borrow funds (issue debt) in an amount not-to-exceed $16 million to address the facility challenges facing the district.
For additional information, please visit the District’s website at mapsedu.org. Questions can be directed to Shannon Murray, Superintendent, 715.536.4581 or email