Open houses planned at Baraboo middle school ahead of referendum vote

March 2, 2019

Plans to revitalize Jack Young Middle School hinge on voters, and Baraboo School District officials are ramping up efforts to inform the public ahead of the April 2 election.

Throughout February, representatives from the school board and district have met with almost two dozen civic, industry and school groups, municipal bodies and local radio stations to explain the referendum.

Part of the effort includes getting people to visit the school for a tour so they can see its needs for themselves, said District Administrator Lori Mueller.

Two open houses will be held at the middle school for the general public in March. At 6:30 p.m. March 19 and 27, community members will be able to see a presentation and take a tour.

Andy Lyons, of Eppstein Uhen Architects, is working with the district on the referendum process and recently reminded the school board that the district can’t use public resources to advocate for a position. By law, the presentations have to remain factual and neutral.

“You should be very, very cautious about using your official title as a board person to advocate a particular position either for or against the referendum,” he said at a February board meeting.

Members can advocate as members of the public or, in their official capacity, explain why they voted to authorize the referendum, Lyons said.