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Survey results find La Crosse is “right on the bubble” supporting $195 million consolidation referendum



The community is split on the idea of one public high school for all of La Crosse.

That was the conclusion, after the La Crosse School Board on Monday, presented results from its consolidation survey.

Mailed to every resident in the district, the survey addressed the plan to consolidate Logan and Central high schools into one building.

That building, the old Trane headquarters, where a new high school would be built. Meanwhile, the current high schools would then house Logan, Lincoln and Longfellow middle schools into two buildings.

In order for the project to continue, voters would have to pass a $194.7 million referendum.

The survey, which asked about support for the referendum,  was sent out in May 2022 and had almost 6,000 respondents. The majority of participants were 65 and older, and 70% lived in the city of La Crosse. Only 28% of respondents had children in the La Crosse school district. 

I’m order to account for bias, the survey broke down respondents into three different subgroups: district staff, parents and non-staff/non-parent community members.

It found that 51% of staff supported the referendum, 56% of parents and 46% of community members. Another 16% were undecided. 

“Of the 16% that were undecided about 1/3 will break ‘yes’ and 2/3 will break ‘no’ in a normal year,” explained Bill Foster, who presented the survey results at the board’s monthly meeting.

After factoring the 1/3 that are undecided but will most likely vote ‘yes,’ eliminating staff responses, taking a weighted average and adjusting the numbers to account for margin of error and bias, the survey found that approximately 53.25% of all community members would support the referendum. 

“You are right on the bubble of having support for this proposed project,” Foster said. 

After the survey results were presented, the main question the board had was what the next steps will be to move the project forward, which will have to be decided at a later meeting.

Sam is a student at UW-La Crosse studying media communication and political science. She has lived in La Crosse for 5 years and loves everything about the community. When she’s not at school or work, you can find her outside hiking the state parks or watching Netflix with her two cats.

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