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School Board Signs Off On Land Swap

Civic Center site would be used for high school expansion.

The Oak Creek-Franklin School Board approved a land-swap agreement with the city of Oak Creek Monday in which the current Civic Center site would be used for a future expansion of .

The board will exchange 50 acres of undeveloped property at Oakwood and Howell avenues for the Civic Center site at the corner of Puetz and Howell. The city will then exchange the Oakwood land with Wispark, the development arm of We Energies, for seven acres at the former Delphi site on which to build a library and city hall. Wispark plans to develop the Oakwood land into a business park.

The agreement passed the board 4-1, with board member Mark Verhalen casting the lone opposing vote.

The district's idea is to build a ninth-grade center on the land the Civic Center site, though officials say any construction or formal plans is a long way off.

Board members said it would be more cost efficient to expand the high school on that site rather than construct a second high school on Oakwood Road, which was the previous plan.

"In a lot of ways, this is a great idea," School Board member Brian Kaminski said. "It accommodates the school district's needs. It's friendly to the taxpayers on more than just the school district level."

Verhalen, who is running for mayor, disagreed, saying he did not feel the value of the two properties is equal.

In addition, residents who spoke at the meeting said the district needed to solicit more public input on the plan.

"I think the school board is being taken advantage of," Verhalen said. "In the bigger picture, I think the taxpayers of the city are being taken advantage of."

Resident of O.C. Paul March 14, 2012 at 03:27 AM
I do business with a company that keeps moving further from Milwaukee even though most of their customers are in Milwaukee County. I also use to frequent the Woodcraft store when it was in West Allis, but since it moved out to Brookfield I rarely go there, choosing to do my shopping through their competitors catalogs, and there are other stores I use to frequent, but don't anymore because they are further away than I care to travel. And if we want to really look at business development in Oak Creek let's start looking at all the vacant commercial buildings here...Maybe Oak Creek should focus on luring businesses to Oak Creek instead of worrying about building a replacement for a city hall that with advances in technology could, with proper maintenance and a bit of remodeling, be usable for many years to come, but we would rather throw money away, and then stiff the taxpayers with a bill because the school district and city are already operating with a deficit, and being run by people that have either been blinded by thinking government has bottomless pockets, think that serving big corporations takes precedence over serving the residents of the city, or are too ignorant to care about anyone but their selves and their agenda. Running a city with a budget deficit, and not controlling it's spending is the perfect excuse for the city to start raising taxes, then those backing the out of control spending will be singing a different tune when they get their tax bill.
Resident of O.C. Paul March 14, 2012 at 03:39 AM
I was watching a documentary on the Great Lakes Watershed a few years ago, and it was stated in that documentary that if water is allowed to be pumped out of the Great Lakes Watershed in any volume to communities a few miles outside of the watershed that it will allow water to be pumped to places as far away as Las Vegas, and we all know what supplying water to Las Vegas from the Colorado has done to the Colorado River Delta...Just for those that don't: The Colorado River Delta is a trickle compared to what it once was. There is a reason why the Native Indians never resided in the south east in any great numbers, it's a desert , and always will be a desert, but because someone felt they were being dis serviced, they cried for water, got the U.S. government to allow the diversion of water, and you can see what has happened to the area where the water once naturally flowed. The documentary also stated that if water were allowed to be pumped out of the Great Lakes Watershed that the level of the lakes will drop significantly...and they were estimating a drop of several feet due to further development that would now become available in the southwest U.S. due to fresh water from the great lakes.
vocal local 1 March 14, 2012 at 08:58 AM
The Schools future needs planning committee did look at the creation of a 9th grade building west of the HS and rejected the idea. We will again pay for more costly studies. The citizenry was not notified as the press was silent and the listing of this item on the agenda did not inform the residents that the board was going to push through a major community decision. Arrowhead was repeatedly discussed and rejected by the needs committee. I don’t recall if Arrowhead had police in the school but I remind you we do. Our students, the children of OC residents are so out of control that we need a police officer on duty to maintain order? Can we agree most 9th graders are pulling at the reins? Inclusion with older students does control some of the behaviors as the older student becomes the role model. Most of us want the best education we can provide for the children. A rash, hasty, costly long term decision has been made by the board in ignorance as evidenced by their comments. Do they understand the collateral effects? Scaffidi worked diligently in this pursuit in closed session out of the view of his constituents and now will not fess up to his role and need to push big spending thru as he attempts to gain support for his mayoral desires. Discourse is good in that it often leads to enlightenment and good decision making instead of repeated errors and long term consequences as I fear we face due to lack of transparency and manipulation by city officials.
vocal local 1 March 14, 2012 at 09:24 AM
Sharon how would you even know about Arrowhead unless coaxed by Dennis Havey, President of the Library Board who did sit on the schools needs committee? I wish I had you face to face as I know you are not prepared to answer tough questions and should not confuse the issues with your commentary. We, the residents of OC cannot afford the debt that is going to swamp this city. I believe in transparency, I want to know exactly what my elected officials are up to. All we, the resident's asked for was a referendum, a measure of the voice of the resident's of the community which we did not get because the elect knew these plans would not fly. VOTE the corrupt out. EVERY last one of them even though it is already too late to stop the loss of revenues on the land swap unless we have a civic minded attorney in residence that is willing pro bono to assist in an injunction to stop this action. The city, your elect including Steve Scaffidi gave the residents false numbers at the February meeting. The funding source is unstable. We have a large number of empty homes as related to foreclosures OC is not moving in the right direction. VOTE THEM OUT as they told us to do if we didn't like it and stop the manipulation and closed session decision making that does not include the desires of residents as evidenced by the lack of support of the issue at hand.
Mark Schaaf March 14, 2012 at 12:11 PM
alright, well. I think this conversation has about run its course.

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