This Just In ...

Kevin Fischer is a veteran broadcaster, the recipient of over 150 major journalism awards from the Milwaukee Press Club, the Wisconsin Associated Press, the Northwest Broadcast News Association, the Wisconsin Bar Association, and others. He has been seen and heard on Milwaukee TV and radio stations for over three decades. A longtime aide to state Senate Republicans in the Wisconsin Legislature, Kevin can be seen offering his views on the news on the public affairs program, "InterCHANGE," on Milwaukee Public Television Channel 10, and heard filling in on Newstalk 1130 WISN. He lives with his wife, Jennifer, and their lovely young daughter, Kyla Audrey, in Franklin.

Franklin, the school district isn't done with you

The tax and spenders at the Franklin Public Schools were popping champagne corks Wednesday morning. Once again, they successfully took you taxpayers to the cleaners, getting approval on two of three referenda.

Starting immediately, the district will begin a design phase of the approved projects (Questions 1 and 2) that is expected to last for 8-10 months. There will be site work and other preparation work starting in the summer 2013. The proposed additions are expected to finish about one year after completion of design or the summer of 2014.  The remodeling may last up to another year, for a total construction time of two years, with a final completion in late 2015.


QUESTION #1 -Proposed project includes:

• Expanding Franklin High School to address current overcrowding and future

growth (increasing overall student capacity to approximately 1,850 students).

• Academic addition of approximately 34,000 square feet to provide new

instructional areas and secure main entry.

• Enlarged and updated science instructional spaces.

• Nearly 72,000 square feet of building renovations including repurposing

existing classrooms for new uses, creating small group learning spaces,

and updating corridors.

• Upgrades to basic building systems now 50 years old including mechanical,

electrical, fire protection systems and portions of the HVAC (heating, ventilation,

air conditioning) system.

• Expanded parking to meet student and community needs (+187 stalls).

• Not-to-exceed cost of $20.4M to be financed over 20 years.

• Estimated annual tax impact of approximately $32 per $100,000 of assessed value.

Proposed project includes:

• Construction of a 25,000-square-foot, 850-seat auditorium to include a set design

room, dressing rooms, orchestra pit and adequately-sized stage support areas.

• Academic addition of approximately 19,000 square feet to provide new band,

chorus and music instruction.

• Enlarged, renovated and relocated art instruction space of approximately

16,000 square feet to include flexible learning areas and student display.

• Expanded front parking (+191 stalls) and reconfigured rear drive for central

receiving/loading area.

• Two relocated practice fields displaced by expanded parking.

• Not-to-exceed cost of $12.6M to be financed over 20 years.
• Estimated annual tax impact of approximately $20 per $100,000 of assessed value.


From the school district website:

What is the Facility Master Plan? What future projects are identified in it but are not included in the November referendums?

For the last several years, the district has been working to define a Facility Master Plan to address facility needs at both Franklin High School and Forest Park Middle School. Based on feedback gathered from community workshops and surveys, the Facility Master Plan identifies stand-alone facility projects that can be implemented independently, taking a phased approach to resolving our needs rather than realizing the entire plan at one time.  

This spring, district residents were asked to prioritize six potential projects at Franklin High School and two potential project options at Forest Park Middle School. The top three overall priorities identified by the community are reflected in the three referendum questions on the November ballot. The remaining projects, which are not included in the November referendums, were ranked in the following order and are still on the long-range Facility Master Plan:


  • Expanding Physical Education/Community Fitness Center at FHS
  • Adding a Four-Teaching Station Gym and Locker Rooms to FHS
  • Expanding/Renovating Forest Park Middle School to Accommodate All Sixth Grade Students
  • Upgrading/Improving Outdoor Athletic Fields, Track
  • Renovating Existing Pool

And who knows what else. Thought Tuesday was the end of referenda in Franklin?


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