Task force looks at closing or repurposing Green Bay West High School

The Green Bay Area Public School District’s 10-year plan sees declining enrollment
The future of school buildings is discussed
Published: Mar. 8, 2023 at 10:27 PM CST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - As part of its 10-year plan, the Green Bay Area Public School District is looking to update multiple school buildings, as well as consolidate due to low enrollment. Enrollment at Green Bay public schools has gone down nine percent in the past six years. In Green Bay, capacity in 10 years will be 67 percent of what it is now according to the demographic and enrollment reports done one year ago.

There are seven plans the Civilians Facilities Task Force is looking over. All of which have a common theme of closing or repurposing West High School.

“I was really shocked and alarmed by all the schemas including options to close West or convert it into another school, so I wanted to come tonight (Wednesday) to see what it was all about and see if there was more information available and show support to the community,” said Hannah Malmberg, West High School Class of 2015.

West High School is one of 18 schools being considered to close, including McArthur Elementary School and Washington Middle School. Of the 18 schools, the district is considering repurposing seven of them.

Currently, West High School is under capacity for the size of the building, but it has the most unique scenarios for repurposing.

“You know what are the options for West High School, keep it open as is under capacity or transition it into some other purpose so that’s what the task force members are looking at,” Chuck Holden, a facilitator with ATSR Architecture said.

There are multiple options floating around regarding West High School. Some of the plans have it repurposed as a middle school or repurposed as a K-12 school.

“And whether it’s for ongoing high school use or some other purpose you know that’s what the task force is wrestling with and ultimately the school board will have to decide,” Holden said.

Holden said the task force is not a decision-making group. They will be bringing recommendations to the school board and will then vote in late May or early June on what plan to go with.

During Wednesday night’s meeting, two more plans were brought to the table. One of them kept West High School as a high school.

“I hope they realize that with 70 percent of the students here being low income that any option that would you know include closing the building, transitioning the building, selling them to other schools would have a really big impact on them and their families,” Malmberg said

“Any time we look at the boundary changes or school modifications or possibly closing, people tend to think this is negative. This is not negative. This is a group that is looking at you know really positioning Green Bay Public Schools for future, the best possible learning environments for students,” Holden said.

Malmberg said the building is a pillar of the community. She hopes the task force takes the time to talk to stakeholders and get input before any decision is made.

“West High School is not just a school, it’s a family, it’s a community, it’s a safe place for a lot of our students to come and feel accepted and to further their education in ways that might not be possible if the people who cared and work here help make that possible for them didn’t exist,” Malmberg said.

If you would like your voice to be heard, you can fill out a survey to give your input and concerns on the proposed changes. The survey closes at 4:00 p.m. on Friday, March 24.

Citizens Facilities Task Force Meeting to discuss repurposing for public schools in area