Bangor and Holmen school districts discuss the next steps of its referendums

HOLMEN, Wis. (WKBT) — On Tuesday, voters statewide approved more than 60% of school referendums on the ballot. In the Coulee Region alone, three multi-million dollar referendums will move forward.

In the state of Wisconsin, education funding can be a guessing game.

“The funding system for the state of Wisconsin is definitely broken,” said superintendent of Bangor schools, David Brokopp.

The cost of education often ends up in the hands of voters.

“The only way to get that additional revenue is through referendum,” said Brokopp.

On Tuesday, Holmen voters approved a $74.5 million referendum and a $650,000 recurring technology referendum.

“So thankful that the community is allowing us to move forward with these projects,” said Holmen district administrator, Kris Mueller.

In Bangor, voters approved a $24 million referendum.

“Awful lot of excitement for our community,” said Brokopp.

The first step after a referendum passes is creating a blueprint for improvements.

“The rest of the year will be all about design and getting ready for those bid packages to go out,” said Brokopp.

While the process has started, residents of Holmen and Bangor won’t see improvements for a few years.

“We’re hoping to have substantial completion of all projects by the time school starts in fall of 2024,” said Bropkopp.

“Especially our students, they thought the equipment was going to come the day after the referendum passed,” said Mueller.

Both districts say although approving a referendum is a long process, none of it would be possible without voter approval.

“It’s going to take a few years to complete all the projects,” said Mueller.

“I can’t say loudly enough to our community, thank you for the support,” said Brokopp.

Staff at Holmen and Bangor say the funding will help the current buildings last for several more years. According to district officials, the referendums will not have an impact on this year’s tax bills.