CLINTON—Additions and renovations being made as part of the $32 million facilities referendum passed in November 2020 to renovate and improve the Junior/Senior High School and elementary school buildings in the Clinton Community School District (CCSD) are on time and under budget, according to information from Superintendent Jim Brewer and Director of Business Services Sarah Duncan following a Baird Public Finance presentation on the referendum at a school board meeting last week.

Because the district was able to finance the project during a time of historically low interest rates, there will be over $14 million saved in interest over the life of the borrowing period, Brewer said. Those low interest rates will also shorten what was projected to be a 26-year repayment period to 20 years. That is six years less in debt payments.

“CCSD thanks the community for its support and is working hard to ensure that the funds provided are being used in the most effective ways possible to improve the educational environment for students both now and in the future,” Brewer said.

Property tax bills are out and, as expected, school district taxes increased from 2020-21 to 2021-22.

During the referendum process, it was projected and communicated that the facilities referendum would increase the mill rate by $1.88 and that the operations referendum would increase the mill rate by $1.93 for a total possible increase of $3.81.

The actual mill rate in 2020-21 was $9.81 and the 2021-22 mill rate is $12.50 resulting in an actual increase of $2.69 per $1,000 valuation. That means a taxpayer with a home valued at $100,000 would pay $269 more in property taxes in 2021-2022.

In the midst of the savings, property values in Wisconsin increased by 7% this year and property values within the district increased by 11.5%.

The $32 million referendum was to address critical maintenance, renovations, repairs and additions at the middle and high school buildings. As part of the plan it was decided the elementary school building at 301 East St. would be retired.

As soon as these two projects are completed, the district will be moving students into the two renovated schools—the current high school at 112 Milwaukee St. and the current middle school, going from three schools to two.

Seventh and eighth graders from the middle school moved up to the Junior and Senior High School this fall. When completed, the district will move 4k through 4th graders to the new elementary school. Currently the fifth and sixth graders are in the building.

Upgrades for the high school included a new roof, two-station gym along with renovations, replacement of the gymnasium floor, expansion of the agriculture and tech ed classrooms and renovations to the 2D art and life sciences classrooms.