Referendum 2018 - What are the Needs?

  • Aging Facilities

    District schools are on average, 73.5 years old. Five of the schools have their original boilers. The District has extended many of the operating systems two to three times beyond a typical life expectancy; they are inefficient, costly to repair, and have become unreliable.

    School Safety

    Many of our schools need updates and modifications to effectively monitor and control access within our buildings.

    ADA Accessibility Limitations

    Due to their age, some elementary schools have significant accessibility limitations and do not meet current ADA standards. Four multi-level elementary schools do not have elevators and six have limited access to the building, restrooms, and classrooms.

    Outdated Learning Spaces

    Many classrooms were built 70-100 years ago. To meet the needs of today’s learners, the proposed plan would update classrooms, provide flexible furniture, and remodel the technical education space at both high schools.

What are the Proposed Solutions?

  • The proposed facilities referendum includes work at all District schools, with an emphasis on the most significant needs at the elementary school buildings. This will include new construction and renovation of four elementary schools with the greatest identified needs; and priority
    projects District-wide.

    Four New Elementary School Buildings: $93.5 million

    Lincoln Elementary -       Built in 1919                  

    Wilson Elementary -        Built in 1924                

    McKinley Elementary  -    Built in 1929            

    Underwood Elementary - Built in 1938




    Only following community approval of a referendum would the District spend funds to develop detailed designs. If approved, the District will engage students, staff, and community in a collaborative process to ensure school design reflects the diversity and culture of our community and is sensitive to Wauwatosa’s rich history and unique building and neighborhood character.

    That process would begin in November 2018, following the referendum. Construction on two new elementary schools would begin in the Summer of 2019. Summer months would be used to maximize project work at all schools throughout the District. All projects would be complete by the start of the 2021-2022 school year. The design process is represented by the light orange color in the chart below with construction represented in dark orange. 


    design and construction timeline