Beloit School District Finalizes Details Of Referendum

The Beloit School District has revealed more details about the improvements that would require taxpayers to approve a $70 million referendum.

The school district has finalized plans to ask taxpayers to vote on the referendum in the spring of 2012. School leaders have included $6 million for a new swimming pool at Beloit Memorial High School.

Athletic director Chuck Seils said the more than 40-year-old pool doesn’t drain properly and has leaking pipes. He said the water problems cost the district hundreds of thousand of dollars each year.

“This is a teaching space our Phy. Ed classes use this virtually every day,” Seils said. “Over 200 kids go through this pool every single day, sometimes more than 200.”

Both the districts middle and high school students use the pool at the high school. He said water safety is an important tool for students living on a river.

However, some residents are split on the idea of a new pool being included in a referendum

“As a taxpayer I don’t think they need a new one,” said resident Deborah Spenle. “I think they need to go back to the basics, reading writing arithmetic and making sure the students know how to cross the street properly.”

“I think it’s about time to upgrade our schools and the pool situation, which is apart of that, but it’s a much bigger picture. The reconfiguration of the schools will save us money in the long run,” said resident Walter R. Knight.

There are also plans to renovate the school’s locker rooms to make them accessible for students with disabilities.

Another concern are the school’s tennis courts, currently located along the Rock River. Seils said in October, the district patched up the asphalt and repainted the courts only to have the cracks reopen as the river swells.

Moving the courts across the street would cost the district about $500,000. District leaders said if the referendum passes in April the improvements will begin later in the year.