Grant Means Lower Taxes for Residents
Spencer, WI (OnFocus) Funding for Spencer school improvements has received a significant boost.
The School District of Spencer announced it is the recipient of a $2.5 million FEMA Pre-Disaster Mitigation grant. The funds will go toward the construction of a 28,850 square-foot dome structure as part of the district’s $5.98 million improvement plans approved by voters in April.
“The dome will double as a tornado safe-room for the community of Spencer along with a gymnasium and a community fitness center,” said Mike Endreas, District Administrator. Music education facilities including a choir room will be located in the connector area to the dome.
The facility is capable of acting as a community shelter in the event of an EF5 tornado or other emergency situations, a fact which made it eligible for the grant. Its dome shape was chosen since it requires half the energy of a conventional building for cooling and heating.
Due to the grant, the annual tax impact on residents is projected to lower from $90 to $64 per $100,000 in assessed property value each year.
The grant will also allow funds for extra projects not to exceed $750,000, including restroom renovations, replacement of the high school elevator, and enclosing an unusable outdoor area at the elementary school. These plans are currently in discussion.
The timeline for the project will be affected by the grant. “We cannot do any activity that was part of the grant application or we will forfeit those funds,” said Endreas. “FEMA will now go through a Historical/Environmental Preservation Review and additional information request process to ensure the project will meet all FEMA standards.”
Once this is completed, the funds will be distributed to the school in late fall or early winter. Meanwhile, the district will commence relocating the elementary office by this fall, a move meant to provide more restricted access to the school.