WAWM School District Taking Big Steps to Financial Stability

WAWM School District Taking Big Steps to Financial Stability
Posted on 01/10/2017
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Over the past two years, the West Allis-West Milwaukee School District has been slowly recovering from significant overspending.  This overspending wiped out district reserves forcing difficult budget cuts, reorganization, and small increases in class sizes.

One of the strategies used to improve fiscal stability involved selling vacant or underused district properties. Today we are pleased to announce that the School Board has approved the sale of 1135/1139/1205 South 70th Street, 7021 W. Washington Street, and all adjacent parking properties for $6.75 million dollars.  The proceeds of this sale will be used to rebuild district reserves.

The interested party is a developer with a vision to revitalize the buildings through a mixed use of retail and commercial office space.  This potential development will bring jobs and opportunities to the community of West Allis.  As part of the offer, the developer now has a 180 day period to explore the viability of their plan. 

In response, the district must make arrangements for the relocation of its Administration Office, The Learning Center, and Bridges to Learning.  A proposal to the school board and the community regarding a relocation plan will be forthcoming.

In addition to the sale of these facilities, the district is in the process of conducting a telephone survey regarding the viability of an operational referendum.  An operational referendum asks voters for permission to exceed the state imposed revenue limit for the purpose of funding annual school operations. 

Community members are being contacted to respond to questions about the possibility of a referendum as additional funding is needed to address a projected budget deficit in the coming school year.  Survey results are expected in a few weeks.  If the School Board approves a referendum question, it would be included on the ballot for the April, 2017 election.

These steps are part of a rigorous, on-going effort to responsibly manage resources and improve our long-term fiscal stability.  Our hope is to avoid significant cuts, develop new and innovative educational programming, and rebuild our district reserves. We believe these actions represent our commitment to the children and families of the West Allis-West Milwaukee School District.