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."