Arrowhead hopes to expand and improve the school with a referendum

Arrowhead hopes to expand and improve the school with a referendum

Samantha Witter, Reporter

The mailbox opens and a tiny pamphlet falls out. It reads “Arrowhead Referendum.” But what exactly does this mean?

In May of 2016, residents within the Arrowhead District were sent a survey. The district hired a wisconsin-based firm that excels in conducting surveys, School Perceptions LLC. This survey identified how various groups within the district (staff residents, parent residents, and non-parent residents) felt about the referendum.  

According to’s information page, “Referendum Information,” the money from this referendum will be used to improve the school in many ways that will benefit students at both campuses. Some of these improvements are redesigning classrooms and improving the campus layout.  

The Facility Planning Committee Survey results showed that 56% of non-parent residents did not want to support a referendum for the base plan. On the contrary, 71% of staff residents and 56% of parent residents would support a referendum for the base plan. This information is valuable to the school board.

Barb Mcshane, a parent resident, said, “I appreciate the fact that Arrowhead took the time to create an informative page that keeps me up to date with the referendum, and that they publicized the results from the survey conducted in May.”

Arrowhead’s property assets, according to the Arrowhead website, are $96 million. The school board identified the improvements necessary. They have created two rankings, base plans and additional projects, which help to prioritize each project.

Updating building infrastructure/emergency systems, improving campus layout/site safety, renovating classrooms (science labs, special education classrooms, student service areas, library media centers), and creating a new design engineering manufacturing (DEM) center at North Campus are all “base plan” projects that Arrowhead will complete if the referendum passes

Additional projects are up for discussion by the School Board. These projects are not as mandatory as the base plan projects, but they are still important to the school. Expanding the fine arts area, expanding the west gym at North Campus, replacing the swimming pool, and improving 32 acres of farm field to support school practice fields and community recreational sports programs are all additional projects.

On November 8, 2016 the board will hold an election which will determine if a referendum for the base plans will be passed, and if a referendum for the additional projects will be passed.

Jonathan Witter, a sophomore at Arrowhead, said, “If this referendum passes I would be most excited for the expansion of the West Gym. I participate in track and field which is one of Arrowhead’s largest sport teams. I heard that they might make an indoor track in this gym. This addition would be very beneficial to me and my team because we would have more room to practice.”

Although these improvements are beneficial for students at Arrowhead, not all taxpayers are wanting to support these changes.

Geno Smth, a non-parent resident, said, “I do not support this referendum. Not only is it an insufficient use of our tax dollars, but the way Arrowhead is going about this survey is wrong. They are designing it to help get the results that they want.”

This survey will allow board members to decide whether or not they want to pursue the referendum. This task will take place during the months of July and August. Until then the School Board will continue to host meetings discussing this referendum until the final election in November.