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Here are Unified's middle, high and K-8 proposed referendum project plans

Here are Unified's middle, high and K-8 proposed referendum project plans


RACINE — Racine Unified’s long-range facilities master plan calls for vast improvements to the district’s schools.

These plans — at the middle, high school and K-8 level — include the filling in of the Case High School pool to be used for wood shop, tech and fitness space; more parking at Gifford K-8 in the vacant lot east of the school; and new and better gym space at multiple schools.

The Case pool, as well as the Horlick and Park high school pools when they are no longer being used, are to be replaced with a $23 million aquatic center paid for through the district’s community service fund.

To fund the plan, unveiled in October, the district is looking to collect $598 million beyond its state-imposed revenue limit over the next 30 years. The School Board is scheduled to vote, during its Jan. 27 meeting, on whether to put a referendum to voters asking for that money.

Decisions regarding which schools to close and which ones to renovate were made by taking into account Facility Condition Index or FCI, the educational adequacy of each building, facility capacity and current and projected demographics.

FCI weighs necessary deferred maintenance of a building against its estimated replacement value. It’s generally accepted that a building with an FCI of 60% or more isn’t worth further investment.

Chief Operating Officer Shannon Gordon cautioned that plans for Phase One and Phase Two have changed somewhat, and that those changes will be presented to the School Board at its next meeting.

Following is a list of plans outlined in the long-range facility master plan for the district’s middle, high and K-8 schools, according to information posted on Unified’s website.

Those reading online can click on the name of the school to go directly to Unified’s information for that school.

Case High

Built: 1966

Enrollment: 1,798 (capacity for 2,513)

FCI: 45.8%

Phase 1 Projects: Replace parts of roof, expand track; widen Hammes Field turn; replace fire alarms; add backup power for phones; convert pool area for construction of wood shop, tech, lecture area, expanded fitness; renovate tech, science areas; restructure library; add restrooms/concessions outside.

Phase 2 Projects: Construct 1,000-seat performing arts center; convert existing auditorium into culinary arts, special education and Student Services.

(Educationally) inadequate ratings:

No secure community room; Too few exterior windows, “General atmosphere/impression needs to be improved;” Science rooms are big enough but need “to be completely remodeled;” No theater/stage; Learning commons needs remodel; Doesn’t have one sensory room, mental health clinic, changing room per floor; Not enough special education classrooms

Community Pathways Campus

Built: 1960

Enrollment: N/A

FCI: 19.6%

Phase 1 Projects: Replace fire alarm/security cameras; backup phone power; demolish clinic space, replace with elevator; new windows; roofing work needed

Phase 2 Projects: New entrance with elevator

Inadequate ratings:

Racine Alternative Learning and offices share an entrance; needs new cafeteria; not enough restrooms; lack of daylight; fitness area needed; needs classroom for sensory, therapy resources; special needs program requires specifically designed spaces

Gifford K-8

Built: 1966 (expanded in 2016)

Enrollment: 1,634 (capacity of 1,812)

FCI: 29.9%

Phase 1 Projects: Expand parking; improve cafeteria access; improve tech classrooms; create STEM lab; add gym; science lab improvements; add interior windows; add small group rooms; bigger lockers; roofing replacement

Phase 2 Projects: Replace exterior windows, doors

Inadequate ratings:

“Very limited” flexible learning spaces; Needs another gym

Gilmore Fine Arts

2330 Northwestern Ave., Racine

Built: 1974

Enrollment: 743 (capacity of 1,056)

FCI: 12%

Phase 1 Projects: Update auditorium seating, lighting; parking lot needs; add exterior windows to all perimeter classrooms; renovate middle school classrooms, performing arts wing; eliminate asbestos floor tile; renovate three science rooms; convert locker rooms to parent area, fitness center, storage

Phase 2 Projects: Electrical upgrades; build new baseball, softball fields for Horlick students; roofing replacement

Inadequate ratings:

No dedicated staff planning space, small-group breakout areas

Horlick High

Built: 1928 (expanded in 1962, 1965, 2017)

Enrollment: 1,599 (capacity of 2,357)

FCI: 57%

Phase 1 Projects: Demolish boiler, old tech area; gut interior of fitness, social studies, tech, music, pool areas; new receiving, locker rooms, fitness, training, music areas; add social studies classroom; add career, tech, culinary, SPED spaces; new fire alarm

Phase 2 Projects: New southeast entrance; enlarge smallest classrooms; turf field; new baseball/softball fields at Gilmore site; new HVAC; air condition entire building; roof/window replacements; repair masonry

Inadequate ratings:

Not enough parking; site size too small; some lockers too narrow; not enough storage, including in kitchen; no secure community room; building’s finishes dated and worn; some classrooms too small; no hallway for preschool education, culinary lab; could use breakout/small group spaces to add flexibility for lengthy 90-minute classes; needs construction lab; tech education classrooms need replacement, add robotics/culinary labs; not enough special education space; no sensory, mental health, therapy rooms


Built: 1952

Enrollment: 1,063 (capacity of 1,206)

FCI: 25.6%

Phase 1 Projects: 32,000 square foot addition for elementary: new gym, cafeteria, five classrooms, music area; current cafeteria split into STEM lab and community room; consolidate libraries; re-roof, masonry repair; upgrade lighting, power; new bus loop; remodel middle school; resize classrooms; expand science, career/tech, support office areas; new interior finishes; replace stage with fitness center; new special ed. suite

Phase 2 Projects: Roofing replacement; replace ventilation; add cooling

FCI: 25.6%

Inadequate ratings:

Insufficient elevators; no mental health clinic; nurse’s area “remote;” no dedicated staff planning space; no neighborhood community room; dated/poor finishes throughout; need more breakout/intervention rooms; need more space for career/tech learning; one gym for middle and elementary students; elementary library in basement

Mitchell K-8

Built: 1931 (expanded in 1935, 1938, 1954, 1973, 1991)

Enrollment: 1,300 (capacity of 1,742)

FCI: 21.18%

Phase 1 Projects: Expand elementary; create community room; add library makers space; interior finishes/masonry/roofing projects; upgrade electrical power, lighting, plumbing; expand middle school by renovating 1973 space; add library breakout spaces; relocate office; add sensory room; demolish 1938 gym, replace with two-section gymnasium

Phase 2 Projects: Roofing replacement

Inadequate ratings:

Some rooms inaccessible even with elevator; no dedicated staff-planning space; need community room; worn finishes throughout; no STEM area for elementary; need better supervision space in breakout/tutoring rooms; coding/robotic room requested for elementary; middle school career/tech space insufficient; middle school library could use makers space

Park High

Built: 1929 (expanded in 1968, 1973, 2003)

Enrollment: 1,357 (capacity of 2,327)

FCI: 45.18%

Phase 1 Projects: Renovate science, manufacturing, JROTC; create culinary lab/café; new athletic team room; move biology lecture room; new fire alarms; masonry repairs; expand parking

Phase 2 Projects: Locker room renovation; replace pool with classrooms; relocate culinary with business lab; expand special ed.; remodel office/entryway; Add collaborative space to library; field/track reconstruction; refresh all interior finishes; expand smallest classrooms; window/roofing projects; steam to hot water conversion; ventilation replacement

Inadequate ratings:

Limited parking; site too small; no controlled entry through office; update video cameras; add 15 sets of security doors; expand cafeteria serving area; not enough food options; no cafeteria daylight; dated/worn finishes inside; oldest classrooms too small; need new furnishings; science classrooms need renovation; no breakout/project rooms; library needs renovation

REAL School

Built: 2000

Enrollment: 504 (capacity of 573)

FCI: 6.85%

Phase 1 Projects: Add cafeteria serving line; emergency power for phones; asphalt preventative maintenance; improve drainage

Phase 2 Projects: 21,600 square foot addition; purchase 0.75 acres from village on north side; roofing replacement

Inadequate ratings:

No dedicated staff-planning space; classrooms too small, putting students in SC Johnson iMET Center 25% of the time; biology/chemistry classes too small; not enough breakout/small group rooms; doesn’t have a library

Starbuck Middle School

Built: 1961

Enrollment: 667 (capacity of 912)

FCI: 17%

Phase 1 Projects: Build 2-story elementary classroom addition on southwest corner from existing building to new gymnasium; new STEM lab; relocate elementary art room; new LED lighting; create kindergarten rooms; convert library to parent room and student support area; create breakout/project rooms; new middle school gym, cafeteria, library, band and choir; interior refurbishment. Masonry repairs. Re-roofing. Construct clean and dirty tech education labs; LED lighting; new baseball field.

Phase 2 Projects: Roofing replacement; add air conditioning.

Inadequate ratings:

Need small group instructional/breakout room; small library/media center/commons with old finishes and furniture

Walden III

Built: 1921 (additions in 1955, 1976)

Enrollment: 630 (capacity of 1,134)

FCI: 18%

Phase 1 Projects: Add new entrance and elevator for 1921 building; add elevator for lower level of 1955 addition; relocate office; add daylight to library; create breakout spaces; right-size SPED rooms; create collegiate style breakout/collaboration rooms; create fab/robotics lab and fitness center; reconfigure/remodel math area; incorporate upper level seating into main cafeteria; construct an outdoor classroom; masonry repairs

Phase 2 Projects: Roof replacement; add air conditioning to entire building.

Inadequate ratings:

Parent and bus drop off are not separate, severe lack of parking; office is half story above entrance, not secure; has no elevator, needs two; main entrance not handicap accessible; dated, worn finishes throughout interior; not designed for breakout/small group collaboration

This article has been edited to remove information about a fine arts pathway at Case High School. According to Racine Unified, "The language in the master plan was not intended to imply an Academies pathway. It was meant to infer a space for fine arts to be performed."

Here's how Racine Unified elementary schools would change if referendum passes

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Caitlin Sievers covers education in Racine County with a primary focus on Racine Unified School District. Before moving to the Racine area she worked at small papers in Indiana, Illinois and Nebraska.

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