MPTC takes first step toward $55m referendum

The Moraine Park Technical College District Council on Wednesday passed a resolution indicating its intention to borrow $55 million to improve campus learning spaces to meet the future needs of students and the regional workforce. .

The resolution is the first formal step towards a possible referendum in the November elections. Under state law, technical colleges must hold referendums before completing capital projects costing more than $1.5 million.

If successful, the $55 million referendum will allow Moraine Park to borrow funds to improve and expand Moraine Park facilities to meet the needs of business and industry in the area through four major projects . In addition, this proposal will allow Moraine Park to:

  • Respond to growing labor shortages.
  • Adapt to changing industry expectations.
  • Address technological evolution, including in the fields of automation and robotics.
  • Provide better access to all communities in the district.
  • Align with community expectations and workforce training requirements.
  • Maintain the region’s competitiveness by preparing the students and workforce of tomorrow.

“Many of our district employers are powered by Moraine Park graduates. Our goal is to continue to meet the needs of our local business and industry partners by leveraging our updated and growing facilities and equipment to expand technical college opportunities,” said Moraine Park President Bonnie Baerwald. “It is our responsibility to continue to plan for growth that matches our local needs, and investing $55 million in improvements, expansions and new construction projects over the next few years will help us achieve this. »

The District Council supported a request to explore growth opportunities at a November 2020 council workshop. Since then, Moraine Park leaders and internal teams have gathered research, held partnership meetings , explored district opportunities, prioritized projects, and obtained cost information related to architecture and construction. In April, the College surveyed a random sample of 10,000 community members in the district to gauge community support. The poll results indicated voter support for a $55 million referendum. Additionally, the Moraine Park Foundation raised nearly $2 million in pledges to help offset the costs.

“In the months ahead, our work in Moraine Park will be to educate our communities about the importance of technical education in our district and the impact this referendum will have on the future of our district,” Baerwald added. .

Under the proposed $55 million facility improvement plan, annual property taxes would increase by $21 per $100,000 of property value ($1.75 per month) for the next 20 years. The next step for Moraine Park is a public hearing at which members of the district community are welcome; the public hearing will be held at 5:15 p.m. on Monday, July 11 at the Fond du Lac campus in Moraine Park, 235 N. National Ave.

Moraine Park District Council will vote in August on the final wording of the referendum question, which will solidify the way forward for the November election. If approved, it will be the first time Moraine Park has funded projects by referendum.

The Moraine Park District includes Dodge, Fond du Lac, Green Lake, and Washington counties and small portions of surrounding counties. The College, with campuses in Beaver Dam, Fond du Lac and West Bend, plays a vital role in training more than 12,000 students each year for industry-critical jobs. Moraine Park students pursue studies in many high-demand fields, including information technology, cybersecurity, accounting, nursing, respiratory therapy, advanced manufacturing, and web and graphic design .

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