Students help break ground for Northern Hills expansion

Part of February referendum to be used for 9 additional classrooms

Gold shovels dig into the future for an Onalaska Elementary School.

Students helped break ground Tuesday for an expansion at Northern Hills.

Voters approved funding for the growth in a referendum back in February. Some of the $16 million is funding an additional nine classrooms at the school.

The superintendent says they ran out of space and needed room to grow.

“Population studies say we’re going to grow over the next 10 years. We get more students, we’ve got to put them somewhere. Either we have additional classroom space or we have higher student-teacher ratio, and we know the latter is not necessarily a positive thing in terms of learning,” said Onalaska School District Superintendent Fran Finco.

The work should be done by the middle of next August.

There’s also some upgrades coming to Irving Pertzsch which should start next spring.