Now that the City of Winnebago has possession and keys to the school building, work on converting it into a multi-purpose facility is in full swing.
City Administrator Jake Skluzacek says District 23 state Sen. Julie Rosen (R-Vernon Center) plans to seek funding next legislative session to help with needed repairs.
“I did hear from her people and she is working on drafting a bonding bill for the school,” he says. “We are going to need a lot of information and are working on it.”
Skluzacek’s comments came during a recent meeting of the city’s Economic Development Board held earlier this month.
District 23A Rep. Bob Gunther (R-Fairmont) has already indicated he’ll ask the Legislature for $2 million to make repairs at the school estimated to cost $1.5 million.
City officials are looking at renting out space at the school as a way to generate revenue and they may have someone who is interested.
At their meeting on Tuesday, City Council members went into closed-session to discuss a potential lease agreement.
“I can’t release the possible tenant’s name,” says Skluzacek. “I will be going into the school with them next week to try and find a space that works.”
The council also earlier this month held a special meeting to hire Keith Navarro as the facility’s boiler operator. For now, he will work one to two hours a day and be paid $20 an hour.
At the School Board meeting on Thursday, board members passed a resolution finalizing a purchase and sale agreement with the city to buy the school for $2.The facility will be called the Center for Educational Development in Winnebago and is expected to house a day care center, recreational facility, community event center, vocational training center and a school for grades pre-K through 12th.