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At a recent school board meeting the school board invited the building firm, Kraus-Anderson, to give an update on the construction project. The board spent a lot of time discussing the possibility of hiring an asbestos abatement company.

The asbestos discussion went back and forth on where there might be asbestos in the building.

“It would mostly be the pipes and plumbing,” board member Engstrom said. “There may be some in the basement but shouldn’t be out in the open.”

Board vice president Mark Pettis was questioning how much the abatement would cost and asked if it was too late to apply for grants to help cover the costs.

The abatement company the district would probably use is CESA 10, however, they could use another company to search the building for asbestos.

Representatives from Kraus-Anderson said the abatement would need to be done before any of the work can be done by contractors in the building.

They plan on starting part of the project in April and then be in full swing by the time students are out of the building near the end of May.

Siren referendum

Siren School board voted last year to put another referendum on the ballot.

Earlier last year, voters approved one part of a two-part referendum. The first part was building renovations and the second would have updated the schools athletic facilities with focus on the football field.

The text of the referendum explains how the district will use the $300,000 over the next three years. This is the ballot question, it is a simple yes or no referendum.

“Shall the School District of Siren, Burnett County, Wisconsin be authorized to exceed the revenue limit specified in Section 121.91, Wisconsin Statutes, by $300,000 per year for three years beginning with the 2020-2021 school year and ending with the 2022-2023 school year, for non-recurring purposes consisting of operating and maintaining buildings and facilities, sustaining current programs and services, and other ongoing operational expenses?”

Siren Superintendent Kevin Shetler held a referendum presentation last week in the Siren IMC to explain to residents what is in the referendum.

“We want to maintain students’ experiences in the arts,” Shetler said during his presentation. He continued to explain that the position was part time up to 2014 when the art and choir positions were made full time. Around the same time, Shetler said, the school psychologist position also expanded. Siren has been continuing to enhance the way the help students with mental illness.

The loss of some of these programs could result in the loss of staff,” Shetler said. “For example, if you’ve got a half time staff member and they have the opportunity to a district with a full time position – typically they’re going to do that.”

A loss of student learning opportunity could be lost. Shetler said in the past students were unable to take classes in the arts and choir.

Shetler and the school board will be holding two other presentations in the IMC at Siren School. Those will be held at 6 p.m. on March 19 and April 2.