De Pere school meeting on overcrowding, potentially building a new high school

Special Meeting on overcrowding and to build a new building, repurposing another
Published: Sep. 25, 2023 at 10:17 PM CDT|Updated: Sep. 25, 2023 at 10:25 PM CDT
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DE PERE, Wis. (WBAY) - Tonight the Unified School District of De Pere heard more details to expand the District, potentially building a new high school. Also, they could repurpose another building to address a growing student population.

Overcrowding has become a challenge for schools in the district.

This meeting tonight gave a lot of information, coming from a task force in charge of this project.

Foxview Intermediate is over capacity, De Pere Middle School is at its recommended capacity, and De Pere High School is nearly full.

Members on the task force suggested the new high school to increase to 1,800 students.

They also recommended the new building be located on the green space between the current high school and Dickinson Elementary.

As Action 2 News reported, this project would have a cascading effect as different buildings would become different schools. De Pere High School would become a Middle School for grades seven and eight. Plus, it would house all 4K and early childhood learning services.

The task force says the recommendations would cause the mill rate to increase by two dollars and forty-eight cents, for a total of just roughly eight dollars.

Board Members expressed concern over possible traffic congestion with the new plan. They are also making sure the school would be large enough to consider future enrollment growth.

“My concern like everyone else is the congestion. I like the centrality of the services. I just want to have this level of comfort that it’s going to work in this location.” said Board Member, Unified School District of De Pere, Jeff Mirkes.

Task force committee members also say enrollment projections show an increase in students.

That doesn’t fully account for the number of students the south bridge connector could add.

In the future the district plans to go to referendum to secure funding to build the new school and maintain its operations.