New school in Wisconsin Dells voted down by close margin

By: Britni McDonald Email
By: Britni McDonald Email

Posted Wednesday, March 2, 2014-- 6:20 p.m.

The Wisconsin Dells school board is canvassing ballots after just 9 votes out of 2,771 made the decision to vote down the referendum to build a new Wisconsin Dells high school on Tuesday.

The referendum intended to use $30 million to build a new high school off Highway 13 in Adams County and one million dollars to transform the current high school to a middle school.

The original referendum called for $50 million dollars; however, the swimming pool, gyms, and auditorium would be covered by donations from individuals and businesses.

Terrance Slack, District Administrator at School District of Wisconsin Dells, said the 60 year old school is outdated, and this was the time to make a change.

“We knew it would be a very close election,” he told NBC15. “The fact that the economy is recovering now, we thought it was an opportune time.”

Tom Diehl, owner of Tommy Bartlett show, supports the project and displayed a 'Vote Yes' sign in front of the building.

“The real losers are the youth of our community and certainly Lake Delton and the city of Wisconsin Dells.” he told NBC15, “We're very disappointed in the outcome.”

Even though more votes against this referendum were counted, front yards and billboards around Wisconsin Dells still displayed signs that were for the plan.

Twitter and Facebook gave the public a way to show their support for the referendum as well as their concern about taxes rising and the community spending money on unnecessary changes to the school system.

Slack said this has been an on and off talk for 15 years, and they will pursue the project next fall.

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