KUSD approves a new location for LakeView Technology Academy
Written by: Jillian Craig | Read this story from Kenosha News
The Kenosha Unified School District Board of has approved the relocation of LakeView Technology Academy to the site of a former Chrysler plant in the planned Kenosha Innovation Neighborhood in a meeting on Tuesday.
In a move approved Tuesday evening, the relocation would cost an estimated $18.4 million. The expense would be divided among the Kenosha Area Business Alliance, the KABA Foundation, the city of Kenosha, and Gateway Technical College. Further financial support would come KUSD’s pending sale of land adjacent to and across the road from Bong State Park.
“We’re not funding $18.4 million,” said Beth Ormseth, KUSD interim superintendent. “We’re basically renting this, so we are covering the cost of the mortgage, for lack of a better word.”
The new location of LakeView would offer the same class size as the original location, but there would be facilities for Gateway Technical College Students, for example, to use when regular LakeView classes are not meeting. “Programming at LakeView is not slated to change,” Ormseth said. “It really is expansion (which) becomes these part-time pathways where we can expose more KUSD students to these pathways (and) it can use better use of the equipment.”
Another positive point raised about the move was the improved accessibility to the school.
“The relocation would also allow the school to expand and offer more families access to LakeView,” Ormseth said. “The ability to get a brand new building and offer the LakeView pathways to more students, and do it on a city bus line in the central city, kind of really made sense for us.”
Board members were also interested to know what the cost of the deferred maintenance is on the current location.
Patrick Finnemore, director of facilities for KUSD, said the cost to complete all deferred maintenance tasks over the next five years would be $1.4 million.
Tarik Hamdan, KUSD chief financial officer, said the lease agreement extension for the current LakeView location will expire June 30, 2023.
“We do not have that (the option to extend the lease) yet,” Hamdan said. “The board will have to re-negotiate the lease if we’re going to stay.” The tentative project timeline is based on occupying the new building for the 2024-2025 school year.
Snow day policy returns
Earlier in the meeting, the board approved a motion to return to the district’s pre-pandemic emergency school closing policy, which means students will not be expected to participate in virtual classes during snow days.