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Phillips seeks $12.6 million to renovate, rebuild aging elementary schoolSubmitted: 01/19/2018
Ben Meyer
Ben Meyer
Managing Editor / Senior Reporter
bmeyer@wjfw.com

Phillips seeks $12.6 million to renovate, rebuild aging elementary school
PHILLIPS - When students go to Phillips Elementary School, their classroom might be heated to only 60 degrees. It could also be 80 degrees.

The heating system is old enough that consistency is nearly impossible, and fixes are tough.

"We can't get parts [anymore] for a lot of the heating systems," said Principal Dave Scholz.

Underneath the school on Thursday, he pointed to the support structure.

"You can see all of the floor joists," he said. "Most of them are rotting right out. A lot of breaking off."


The oldest part of the school was built in the late 1950s. It shows.

"Here, we've got a sink that they had to tape off because the plumbing is so bad that it doesn't drain anymore," said Scholz, motioning at a water fountain.

Now, the School District of Phillips wants to do something about its aging elementary school. On Monday, the school board voted to put a referendum question on April's ballot. It will ask for $12.6 million to demolish the oldest parts of the elementary school and build new parts.

"We are not looking at a Cadillac package. We're looking at what our needs are, and keeping it to those needs," Scholz said.

The major request comes two months after a major celebration. Last fall, the U.S. Department of Education recognized Phillips Elementary as a National Blue Ribbon School. Just a quarter of one percent of schools in America have the distinction.

"We are a Blue Ribbon School," Scholz said. "We'd like to have a blue ribbon facility to follow up with the Blue Ribbon School."

Homeowners would have to pay about $180 for each $100,000 of property they own. People in Phillips will vote on the referendum question on April 3.

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