Manitowoc Elementary School to Close Under Proposed District Plan
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Manitowoc Elementary School to Close Under Proposed District Plan

The plan to close the elementary school has not yet been presented to the school board.

MANITOWOC – Manitowoc Public School District officials are asking the public for feedback on a plan to close one of its six elementary schools in a bid to save millions of dollars, which would then be used to renovate the remaining school buildings.

A decision on which school will close has not yet been made. A letter from Superintendent James Feil to district staff and families said the decision will be based on several factors, including public opinion, building condition and enrollment capacity.

“Like many districts, we are facing a perfect storm of inadequate state funding, declining enrollment, and outdated, aging schools that are overcapacity and have staggering deferred maintenance costs,” Feil said in the letter.

The reduction, which has not yet been formally proposed to the Board of Education by the district administration, is part of a potential three-phase facility expansion plan that would prioritize the district’s core needs.

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The next phase will address secondary school needs and include the option of asking voters to approve the merger of two secondary schools into one new school.

Feil said the final phase won’t happen until 2040, when the district will consider holding another referendum in which the community would be asked to approve rebuilding Lincoln High School or building a new school.

The proposal comes five years after the district reconfigured its schools and closed the former McKinley School on Huron Street.

In May, the MPSD board received a full infrastructure analysis conducted by CESA 10, which determined that all 10 school buildings required more than $47 million in urgent repairs.

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The district’s declining student population is allowing for consolidation of school buildings. The district has lost 761 students between 2005 and the current school year, and Feil said the district is projected to lose another 400 students by 2030.

A community information meeting is scheduled for August, but the date has not yet been announced.

Feil said the district will begin maintenance and repair work at the schools next year, which he said will remain part of the district’s long-term plan.

Alisa M. Schafer is a Herald Times Reporter in Manitowoc. She can be reached by e-mail at [email protected].