PESHTIGO — The Peshtigo School District has convened a 35-member facilities advisory committee to help the Board of Education analyze solutions to the district’s existing facilities needs. The district and the committee are examining two possible scenarios: One option is to remodel the existing Middle/High School building, and the second option is to build a completely new facility for middle and high school students.

Superintendent Patrick Rau said the district is in the process of assessing its facility needs with a commitment to provide modern learning environments for students. The district has hired Performance Services, Inc. (PSI) to guide the work. Because community input is a critical part of the process, Rau said the district has sought feedback from residents in a number of ways.

“Facilities have been a high priority for community members since a Connect community event in November 2019 was held to develop a long-term vision for the district,” he said.

In July, community listening sessions with area residents were held. In October a “ReConnect” event with 45 community members was held to develop a clear shared vision for the district. At the ReConnect event, Rau said facilities remained a top priority.

PSI conducted a facilities study of the district and met with staff members to learn about educational programming needs. The PSI report was presented to the Board of Education in August and identified critical, essential facility needs in the district.

The Facility Advisory Committee was convened in October and held the first of four meetings Oct. 29. At its most recent Nov. 12 meeting, the Facility Advisory Committee reviewed two concepts of remodeling and renovating the current middle/high school. The group will have its last meeting Dec. 3. Rau said the committee is giving updates to the board after each meeting and will make a final report in December about its feedback.

"As part of this review, we are giving the option to remodel and renovate careful consideration. There are several factors to weigh, such as the educational space, feasibility, cost, and safety to name just a few. The board and I are committed to giving the two options of remodeling and building new equal consideration before the board makes its final decision," he said.

The Board of Education will review the committee’s input and continue to analyze the district’s facility options. Rau said the board expects to work on developing a facilities solution by January. If the board decides to go to referendum, he said it may be as soon as April 2021, but that has not yet been decided.