Boots & Sabers

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0817, 11 Jan 18

West Bend CFAC Plans Massive New School

The West Bend School District’s Citizens Facility Advisory Committee (CFAC) met again last night as they build their sales pitch for a referendum. You may recall that this entire process was exposed as a sham several weeks ago. In any case, last night they moved ahead with a plan to build a new Jackson Elementary that would be 44% larger than the current one to educate 24% fewer kids. Crazy math, eh? You can watch the video of some of the recording at this link, but here are the raw numbers:

The current Jackson Elementary is 59,176 square feet. In the 2008-2009 school year, 528 kids were enrolled. In the 2014-2015 school year, the district reorganized with the rebuilding of the middle schools and pulled the 5th grade out of Jackson. That left 416 kids in that year. Since then, enrollment has declined every year with only 370 kids in the school for the 2017-2018 school year. So… in the current school year, there are 158 fewer kids in the school than in 2008. The enrollment projections for the school do not predict any massive increase in enrollment anytime in the foreseeable future.

The current plan being discussed by CFAC would use a target enrollment of 400 kids and build a 85,000 square foot school for them. I know that kids are getting bigger nowadays, but sheesh! That means that in 2008, the school provided an average of 112.1 square feet per kid. In the current school year, there are 159.9 square feet per kid. The new school, if built, would provide a whopping 212.5 square feet per kid.

As a point of comparison, here are the standards in the CFAC packet and some data from our current schools.


As you can see, the “Industry standard” for elementary schools is 134 square feet per child. The current Jackson Elementary provides much more than that. The proposed new school would have more space per kid than any school in the district – by far.

This what you get when you have the architecture firm that will most likely get to build the new school also doing the proposals.



0817, 11 January 2018


  1. Mike

    Most of this space will probably be in sports facilities. how much is actual classroom and library space.

    Just like Waupaca, Nice sports facility, where’s the school?

  2. Jenn Donath

    You might be right, Mike. The gyms in all of the schools get a lot of use with practices, games, concerts, and other school and community uses. It’s hard to book a gym and sometimes gyms are double booked by mistake. Some community members discussed the idea of adding a second gym (or larger gym) when Jackson was remodeled, and this would benefit the entire district. Perhaps that came up in CFAC discussions? Does anyone else know?

  3. momin9900

    It would be nice if the community would have been able to continue to contribute to the questions that came up.  I think it is crazy to have so much space allotted per child, how long will it be before they need to do an addition because they are overcrowded.  Not really planning for the future now, are they?

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