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UPDATE: Both Wausau School District referendums fail to pass

lincoln school wausau

UPDATE (WAOW): Both Wausau School District referendums fail to pass.

For the first referendum, 15,228 voted no (54.53%), and 12,698 voted yes (45.47%).

A second referendum, which was reported earlier as too close to call also failed. A total of 14,183 voted no (50.67%), and 13,810 voted yes (49.33%).

Superintendent spoke to News 9 as the vote became clear Tuesday night. "We were surprised right now, there are only about ten thousand votes for the referendum. We were expecting a larger number so we are not sure what that means," said Dr. Hilts, "We will have to do some digging into the data with the community and have a conversation."


WAUSAU, Wis. (WAOW) — A proposed referendum by the Wausau School District fail to pass, a second is too close to call.

A referendum that would have dedicated over over $150,000,000 to improvements within the district will not pass. As of 9:50 pm, 98% of votes were in, only one precinct was left to report. 14,891 (54%) voted no for the referendum, 12,492 voted yes (46%).

The referendum proposed a number of changes to its schools for the purpose of safety and security, school modernization, building infrastructure, technology systems and site improvements, including:

  • Construction of an elementary school on the Grant Elementary site to merge Grant and Lincoln Elementary Schools and removal of the current building
  • Renovations to the Lincoln Elementary building to repurpose for an expanded Montessori program
  • Remodeling at the elementary and middle schools
  • Construction of additions at Horace Mann and John Muir Middle Schools, and at Hawthorn Hills, Maine, Rib Mountain, Riverview, South Mountain and Stettin Elementary Schools
  • Construction of a new School Forest Environmental Center

Opponents of the referendum say now is not the time to make these types of changes, and that the district’s focus should be elsewhere during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

A second referendum that would have funded additional staff and pay for operation expenses is currently too close to call. This referendum had a lower price tag at $3,000,000.

Click here to see election results as the come in locally and nationally.

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Sierra Rehm

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