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.
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.