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Arena residents gather to discuss uses of school building


December 27, 2018

There were about 25 residents who turned out for the meeting at Grandma Mary’s restaurant at Arena to find out what the Arena residents felt should be done about purchasing the Arena school building. At their last board meeting in early December the board heard from a representative of MSA of Baraboo after he had gone through the building and checked outside of it as well. With remodeling and updating the building, the cost was set at approximately $1,240,000. There may be a grant they could write that would give them a portion of that cost, and the Arena Historians had said at that meeting they were prepared to pay some of the $2,000 cost to purchase the building from River Valley School District.

Board member Melissa Bandell chaired the meeting at Grandma Mary’s. Kate Reimann, another board member, assisted.

Information was shared to the group about the MSA report. Surveys were also handed out at the end of the meeting asking two questions of the residents: Should the village spend up to $2,000 to purchase the ACES school building? Should the village spend up to $1,240,000 to renovate the school building? There were spaces provided for residents’ yes or no answers. What the surveys showed at that point was that most residents were positive about doing the renovation. These results will help guide the board to make an informed decision based on resident wishes.

The board members are also working on an informational mailing to be sent out to all Village of Arena residents. The Arena Historians have graciously offered to pay for the cost of the mailing.

The survey can be filled out online and paper copies are also available at the village hall in Arena. Surveys are due back by January 8 at the latest. The school district would like an answer in January on the possible purchase.


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