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La Crosse school district to avoid building closures this year, but could have referendum for merging schools



No elementary school is going to be closed this year in the La Crosse school district.

Members of the La Crosse School Board reached that decision Monday after a four-hour meeting. The district has spent nearly a year studying future building use, through what was called a Facilities Advisory Committee (FAC), before taking up the matter at school board meeting this year.

The FAC recommendation was to close North Woods and Hintgen elementary schools. Now, however, a couple of other paths toward school consolidation are on the table, according to board president Annie Baumann.

“Path A is, we consolidate Emerson and Spence at the Hogan Administrative Center site, in a new building,” Baumann told WIZM News.

Path B for the board would be consolidating Hintgen and Spence in a new building on the Spence property.

Baumann added that discussions could continue for a few more weeks, before the board figures out what building plan might go on a tentative November referendum.

“Now that we’ve signaled to the administration that we will not close a school in the fall, we will be going to a referendum, we could go through up until April with our discussion on the specific location, and the merits of each proposal,” Baumann said.

Three new people will take seats on the school board after the spring election.

The school board had been aiming for a decision on building closures at its Feb. 19 meeting.

At this time, North Woods School would not be part of any consolidation plans.

FILE – Kids enter Spence School in La Crosse on Sept. 1, 2023 (PHOTO: Brad Williams)

A native of Prairie du Chien, Brad graduated from UW - La Crosse and has worked in radio news for more than 30 years, mostly in the La Crosse area. He regularly covers local courts and city and county government. Brad produces the features "Yesterday in La Crosse" and "What's Buried on Brad's Desk." He also writes the website "Triviazoids," which finds odd connections between events that happen on a certain date, and he writes and performs with the local comedy group Heart of La Crosse. Brad been featured on several national TV programs because of his memory skills.

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