Find frequently asked questions and answers, print materials like brochures and posters and more on our referendum resource page.
The Madison Metropolitan School District referendum to improve accessibility, add learning space to overcrowded schools, renovate buildings in need of repair and upgrade our technology infrastructure passed on April 7, 2015, with an 82% majority.
Thank you to Madison voters and everyone who helped spread the word about this compelling opportunity to create high-quality, equitable environments for great teaching and learning. Moving forward, we are posting project updates at mmsd.org/construction-updates
Some students who use wheelchairs, or have other mobility impairments, are currently unable to attend their attendance area schools due to lack of building accessibility. Several MMSD schools have second or third floor classrooms accessible only by stairs, which creates barriers for some students, family and community members.
Three-story Lowell Elementary lacks elevators and accessibility ramps.
Problem: Built in 1936, three-story Frank Allis is in need of accessibility updates and an entryway visible from the main office.
Proposed Solution: Two elevators will be installed, access ramps will be extended or installed and an updated vestibule will be constructed, allowing office staff a line of sight to the building entrance. Est. Cost: $1,992,090 - View Plan Details.
Problem: Randall is a three-story designated historical building built in 1902 lacking accessibility features.
Proposed Solution: A 3-stop elevator will be installed, three risers at two west entrances will be replaced with ramps and three staircases will be rebuilt to include wheelchair lifts. Est. Cost: $1,001,550 - View Plan Details.
Problem: Accessibility is limited at Spring Harbor, with many classrooms and the main office on the second floor, reachable by stairs only.
Proposed Solution: A 2-stop elevator and an accessibility remodel of two bathrooms will make the school a more welcoming building for all students, families and community members. Administration offices will be consolidated and moved to the first floor, giving staff line-of-sight visibility to a new secured entrance. Est. Cost: $1,083,990 - View Plan Details.
Class being held in a closet at Van Hise Elementary.
For several years, many of our schools have been overcrowded or beyond capacity. Schools have been strategically modifying spaces, restructuring schedules and finding creative solutions in their buildings to accommodate the need for learning spaces.
Problem: Hawthorne participates in a state aid program called SAGE designed to promote achievement through smaller class sizes. Building limitations are driving programs like four-year-old kindergarten (4K) to relocate elsewhere.
Proposed Solution: Two additional classrooms will provide needed learning space. Building a new gymnasium and converting the existing gymnasium into a cafeteria will allow the existing cafeteria to be turned into two more classrooms, for a total of four new classrooms. Est. Cost: $3,005,310 - View Plan Details.
Problem: With enrollment numbers on the rise, this combination elementary/middle school exceeded capacity in 2013 and 2014. Because the building is designed for a smaller student enrollment, simply adding classroom space is not a solution.
Proposed Solution: Relocating the library to the center of the building and dividing it into elementary and middle school spaces will free up seven classroom-sized spaces currently used for library activities. Est. Cost: $3,151,730 - View Plan Details.
An elevator will help make Kennedy Elementary accessible to students, families and community members.
Additions & Accessibility
Some of our schools are in need of additional learning space as well as modifications to ensure accessibility for all.
Problem: Two-story Kennedy Elementary lacks critical accessibility features and an entrance that staff can monitor visually. The building is also in need of space renovations.
Proposed Solution: A new elevator will be added to make it accessible to students, families and community members. The main office will be relocated to the front of the school where staff can visually monitor the main entrance, while the existing office will be converted into two classrooms. In addition, two new classrooms will be created alongside the new elevator tower. Est. Cost: $1,900,800 - View Plan Details.
Problem: Midvale is operating at capacity. Programs like dual-language immersion and 4K attract families but also add operational complexity.
Proposed Solution: Replacing the cafeteria with five classrooms and building a new cafeteria/multi-purpose room adjacent to the playground will provide more learning space and improve the flow of students through the school. A 3-stop elevator will also provide accessibility Est. Cost: $2,637,600 - View Plan Details
Built as an open-concept school, Jefferson lacks permanent walls in many rooms, which creates noise and distractions.
Many of our buildings require interior and exterior building upgrades to improve their condition. Renovations will create conditions more conducive to teaching and learning and enhance each school’s ability to give students a well-rounded education.
Problem: The East High Auditorium was divided and modified into a learning space in the 1970s. Since that time the 600-seat space has declined and as such, it limits the school’s ability to support fine arts that give students a well-rounded education.
Proposed Solution: Renovations will transform the space into a working theater that can be shared with and collaboratively supported by the community. They include updated seating, the addition of a soundboard, a stage extension and accessible dressing rooms. Est. Cost (Net): $3,634,000 (An ongoing fundraising campaign through the Madison Community Foundation has raised $200,000 toward the project) - View Plan Details.
Problem: Huegel received a grade of “D” in the district’s annual Facility Condition Index (FCI) report for the overall condition of the building.
Proposed Solution: Several renovations will improve the building’s condition including enclosing the Library Media Center and replacing windows, ceilings, the HVAC system and more. Est. Cost: $2,005,410 - View Plan Details.
Problem: Built as an open-concept school, the lack of permanent walls in many rooms creates noise and distractions. Jefferson received a grade of “F” in the district’s annual FCI report for the overall condition of the building. The building’s HVAC system is especially in need of replacement.
Proposed Solution: Renovations will create conditions more conducive to teaching and learning. They include the following: partitions, interior circulation, elevator replacement, an electrical system upgrade, new windows and exterior doors, new ceilings and LED lighting, restroom renovation and more. Est. Cost: $8,074,640 - View Plan Details.
Problem: Mendota, one of two schools next on our list to receive building upgrades through our operating budget, received a grade of “C” in the district’s annual FCI report.
Proposed Solution: Improvements to the building will include a drainage issue correction, HVAC upgrades and new ceilings and LED lighting throughout. An elevator will also be installed in this multilevel building to improve accessibility. Est. Cost: $3,432,730 - View Plan Details.
Tablets support and extend classroom learning for these Sandburg Elementary third grade students during REACH (Reinforcing and Enriching Achievement for All Children).
Technology Infrastructure Upgrade
As more students and staff are given access to devices as part of the district’s 5-year technology plan, projects in the referendum will replace server and storage systems and increase bandwidth across the district, empowering students, staff and families to engage in continuous learning. Est. Cost: $2,000,000.
Learn more about our Technology Plan
Total Estimated Project Cost
The estimated cost for constructing school additions, improving accessibility, renovating schools and upgrading technology infrastructure is $41 million.