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Nicolet to examine land uses

Board clashes over contract

Aug. 27, 2013

Glendale — The Nicolet School Board on Monday narrowly approved a contract to investigate the district's recreational needs in relation to the land it owns and land it might be able to use throughout the city.

Board President Marilyn Franklin, alongside Libby Gutterman and Morton Grodsky voted for the roughly $19,000 contract with Stevens Point-based landscape architecture firm Rettler Corp. Board members Joseph Kasle and Ellen Redeker voted against the contract.

Nicolet conducted a space analysis study about a decade ago, said Business Manager Jeff Dellutri, finding that the district has about 40 percent of the space a typical new high school would require. In the contract approved Monday, Rettler is tasked with creating a master site plan which rectifies the district's recreational needs with its too-small properties.

The contract also directs Rettler to examine a former dump site on the western end of Bender Road, which the city of Glendale has offered to develop in partnership with Nicolet into a sports facility and site for the Music in the Glen concert series, as well as any other sites within the city where the district could potentially house recreational facilities.

"You know going in that you don't have enough land to meet baseline needs," Rettler engineer Rick Zahn said. "It's a plan that you can go back to and adjust, a long-term vision to get you where you want to go."

Board split on decision

Redeker and Kasle, however, said the district is moving ahead too quickly with the study and contract.

Redeker criticized a part of the contract which segregates about $7,000 toward investigation of the former dump site, saying other areas haven't been considered and that a better solution may be out there.

"We're spending the biggest amount of money (in the contract) on this piece of land that's being presented as a solution," Redeker said.

Why not include feeders?

Kasle suggested the board invite the Nicolet feeder districts to participate in the study so that a site plan would include the properties and recreational needs of all four systems.

"I think this is a really good idea, but I want to maximize our opportunities," Kasle said. "Approving this today would be putting the cart before the horse."

Franklin and Grodsky argued that the idea of studying district properties and potentially expanding is not new, and that delaying the study would be unnecessary.

"We're losing time," Grodsky said. "There's been no reason so far as I'm concerned to table this."

With a motion and second on the table, Franklin eventually put the matter to vote when the conversation became heated. After the vote, Kasle commented that he was disappointed with members of the board for the way the matter was handled. Grodsky replied that he, too, was disappointed.

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