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Onalaska breaks ground on middle, high school renovations, from passing of $75 referendum in 2022

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Media, others gather outside Onalaska High School before a groundbreaking as a result of a $75 million referendum that passed in 2022 (PHOTO: Onalaska School District)

A major school remodeling project kicked off Thursday with a groundbreaking at Onalaska High School.

Shovels hit the dirt for a groundbreaking at Onalaska High School on June 6, 2024, as a result of a $75 million referendum that passed in 2022 (PHOTO: Onalaska School District)

Renovations and additions are planned at both the high school and middle school over the next year.

Voters committed to the $75 million spending in a 2022 election.

“Approximately $50 million of that is going to our middle school renovation, and $25 (million) is going to the Phase 1 projects here at the high school,” Onalaska Superintendent Todd Antony said.

High school principal Jared Schaffner pointed to the arches at the high school’s western entrance as a symbol carried on from the previous Onalaska High building, known as “Old Aggie,” which was built in 1924 and demolished over 30 years ago.

The building changes are designed to benefit science and music instruction, and improve accessibility at the Onalaska schools.

Antony led a group of school leaders in turning shovels outside an entrance to the high school. Larger classrooms and steps to make the schools more accessible are among the changes that will be made in the Onalaska buildings.

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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