PSD referendum sessions set for March

Posted 3/1/22

New district nurse hired PRESCOTT – The community is invited to attend one or all Prescott School District information sessions in March ahead of the April 5 building maintenance referendum vote. …

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PSD referendum sessions set for March


New district nurse hired

PRESCOTT – The community is invited to attend one or all Prescott School District information sessions in March ahead of the April 5 building maintenance referendum vote.

Each meeting will consist of a short presentation with building specific information, a tour of the proposed work, and a question and answer session. The meetings are scheduled for:

•7 p.m. March 2 at Malone Elementary School (505 Campbell St. N.)

•7 p.m. March 9 at Prescott Middle School (125 Elm St. N.)

•7 p.m. March 15 at Malone Intermediate School (1220 St. Croix St.)

A community-wide referendum session will be held at 6:30 p.m. March 31 at Prescott High School (1010 Dexter St. N.) Representatives from Market & Johnson, River Valley Architects (formerly SDS Architects) and Baird Financial will be onsite for questions. Questions can be directed ahead of time to [email protected] s Those seeking more information can visit the new referendum information website at /referendum/index.cfm At the Feb. 16 Prescott School Board meeting, District Communication Specialist Andrea Herzan presented a review of the road to referendum, which began in 2019 with a facility study completed by SDS Architects and Apex Engineering. She said the referendum is not “highthrill, high-frills,” but rather a no-frills investment in the district’s infrastructure. The average age of the district’s three oldest buildings is 64; PMS was built in 1929, Malone Elementary in 1963 and Malone Intermediate in 1969.

In 2020, School Perceptions, an independent research firm that specializes in conducting culture and climate surveys for public and private schools, conducted a community survey about a referendum path. From that survey, the district decided to pursue the building maintenance referendum in order to keep the district’s four buildings operational. In 2021, 11 community members stepped forward to be part of the Facility Advisory Committee, which worked to narrow priorities and present three viable options to the school board, who ultimately settled on a $15 million referendum question.

The FAC prioritized their list of projects from hundreds of line items. The final list of proposed projects which falls under the referendum umbrella includes: Malone Elementary

School – Partial roof replacement, plumbing and HVAC upgrades, tuckpointing, upgrade electrical panels, circuits and systems; ADA compliance updates and kitchen hood and fire suppression system.

Malone Intermediate School – Roof replacement, tuckpointing, asbestos abatement, update lighting controls; interior flooring, casework, ceilings and wall repair; plumbing repair/upgrades, and kitchen hood and fire suppression system.

Prescott Middle School –

Tuckpointing, plumbing and HVAC upgrades, electrical system upgrades, and upgrade salary, coming off their benefits, coming off programs that we’re trying to put in place to make sure we have a highly desirable and highly robust programming for the Prescott community.”

The annual district operating budget, which is called Fund 10, covers salaries and benefits, students’ instruction and supplies, educational programs, athletics/activities/arts, maintenance and operations, and transportation. The district has made great strides the past three years in increasing staff salaries, Spicuzza said. However, state funding stagnation creates hardships for districts, including the inability to put away enough money to fund large-scale projects.

“The difficulty if you have no additional money coming in for the last two (years), the pipeline is drying up,” Spicuzza said. “Not only is that pipeline drying up, but we have holes in that bucket.”

The state had promised to on bonds (2% or lower) for school districts are still available, but maybe not for long, according to stock market trends.

“If this (the referendum) is successful, it allows us to prepay some bonds and prepackage bonds at a lower interest rate,” Spicuzza said.

Residents can expect to receive a four-page mailer in their mailboxes about the referendum.


•The board approved hiring Jessica Stute as the new district head nurse. Stute, who lives in River Falls, has been in nursing for 10 years and is working toward her master’s degree. She is a familiar face in the district as a sub.

•The board also approved hiring Maria Damiani as the superintendent’s executive administrative assistant. Damiani, who lives in Hudson, grew up in St. Paul. She earned a paralegal degree from Globe Ryan (baseball), Nick Johnson (softball), Emily Calabrese (girls track), Carl Calabrese (boys track), Jay Bartsch (boys golf) and Chris Patraw (trap).

Other business

•Dean of Students Rick Montreal gave an overview of the PHS Inclusivity Club, whose mission is to be a student- led organization that promotes diversity, equity and inclusion to celebrate people form all backgrounds, maintain a safe environment for all students, and create a lasting change through awareness, education and activism. Follow them on Instagram.

•Board President Mike Matzek read a statement concerning Spicuzza’s annual evaluation and board decision to extend his contract for one year. The statement is available for viewing on the school website.

•The Prescott School Board will next meet at 7 p.m. March 30.

Jessica Stute has been hired as the head district nurse, approved by the Prescott School Board Feb. 16. Stute has more than 10 years of experience and is working toward her master’s degree. Photo courtesy of Prescott School District