Phase 1 Update

Mr. White offers a tour of the new facilities and classrooms of the wing which will open on May 8 to all students.

Live Streaming Video

2016 Building Project Update

Fall 2016 Frequently Asked Questions

Current Renderings

Exterior Perspective Rendering

Multipurpose Space Rendering

Front Entrance Rendering

Maker Space Rendering

Thank you to those who voted in the February 16th referendum. We look forward to working together as we improve the educational environment for our students.
Thank you to those who voted in the February 16th referendum. We look forward to working together as we improve the educational environment for our students.


The Oostburg School District (OSD) has a proud heritage of excellence in academics, athletics, arts, and co-curricular activities. Our students continue to perform at a very high level both in and out of the classroom. In addition, we consistently rank among the lowest in the state for spending per pupil.

While our buildings are well-maintained, there are some major facility issues which are too large to address within our operating budget. We believe that this is a good time to proceed to a referendum. In 2017, the OSD will pay off the loan associated with the middle school addition. This reduction of debt will lessen the tax impact of any new projects. Delaying these projects will likely cost us more as interest rates and construction costs are predicted to rise.


Strategic planning began in early 2012 with the formation of a Long Range Planning Committee (LRPC) which included representatives from across our community. That committee met 18 times to review the following:

  • A Facilities Study Report which included building conditions, educational adequacy and accessibility
  • An overview of school funding and the District’s financial status
  • Curricular and instructional needs which impact classroom and facility design
  • Enrollment projections

The LRPC led the development and review of two community-wide surveys both of which provided clear direction to our School Board. Click here to view the 2015 survey and results. (For further reference, here are the 2013 survey results as well.)

The following timeline details the events leading up to the formation of the LRPC:

2008: The District completed “Phase I” of a multi-phase project addressing major high school needs. The District considered, but ultimately rejected, a proposal to add six new elementary classrooms. Instead, the District took a more conservative approach by building four elementary classrooms.

2010: The Board delayed “Phase II” of the project because of the poor economy. Phase II would have converted the high school gym into an auditorium and constructed a new gym.

2013: The District received clear direction from a community-wide survey on several issues:

  • Do not pursue Phase II which would have built a new auditorium and expanded the gym
  • Develop a plan to reduce elementary school overcrowding and replace the 1956 wing
  • Focus resources on graduating students who are career and college ready
  • Update technology
  • Consider a referendum on or before 2017

2014: The District made considerable facility investments without going to referendum that included:

  • Full renovation of the high school student services area
  • Replacement of high school roof sections
  • Removal of asbestos at the high school and elementary school
  • Replacement of the high school bleachers to address safety concerns
  • Improved Elementary and High School parking lots and address site drainage


Oostburg Elementary School (and the District as a whole) continues a trend of enrollment increases. That trend includes over 80 new students in this school year alone with over half of them at our elementary school. The existing school does not meet capacity. Spaces that were not designed for instruction, such as storage closets, hallways, a concession stand, and renovated showers, are regularly used for teaching and learning in an effort to meet current needs.

The 1956 elementary wing, the original section of OES, is almost 60 years old with much of the plumbing, HVAC, and electrical infrastructure being original and of substantial concern. The fact that this section was constructed on top of steam tunnels also creates significant challenges when considering renovation and expansion.

Boiler Room

Repurposed Classroom Spaces

Cafeteria / Multipurpose Gym

Primary Wing Bathroom

District Food Prep Kitchen

Conference Room

  • Repurposed Spaces

    Alcoves throughout the building are used as learning spaces due to space limitations.
  • Repurposed Spaces

    In our new proposal, small group and individual student work would move from hallways to locations designed for instruction.
  • Repurposed Spaces

    Small group instruction in corridor, hallway, and exit areas.
  • Cafeteria / Gym Storage

    Due to the repurposing of storage spaces for instructional use, the cafeteria serves as a primary storage area in addition to its use as a gym and lunch space.
  • Conference Room / Concession Stand

    Our concession stand storage area now serves as our primary conference room. Staff and parent meetings often take place here, and space, noise, and heating are concerns.
  • The Boiler Room

    This 1950’s heating unit has significant functional and efficiency concerns.
  • Boiler Room Tunnels

    Steam tunnels run under the entire old wing of OES. These tunnels have sand floors and significant moisture concerns. Primary plumbing, communication, and electrical all run through these tunnels limiting renovation options.
  • Kindergarten Bathroom

    Restroom facilities have accessibility and design issues which limit functionality.
  • Kindergarten Bathroom

    Most plumbing infrastructure is original and failing in various locations.
  • Roofing Concerns

    Roofing concerns contribute to moisture problems that impact both air quality and safety.
  • Structural Concerns

    Foundation concerns are leading to settling and cracks in load-bearing walls.
  • Windows and Exterior Walls

    Wall and window efficiency would be substantially improved as part of this project.
  • Air Quality Concerns

    Moisture concerns related to roofing and steam tunnel areas are impacting air quality.
  • HVAC Inefficiencies

    Original HVAC system in this wing “fights” with newer areas creating pockets with widely varying temperatures.
  • Steam Tunnel Structural Concerns

    The steam tunnels corrugated steal ceilings are deteriorating causing structural concerns with floors and walls in oldest OES wing.


After studying District-wide needs and evaluating the community survey response, the LRPC concluded that the needs that were most immediate and most supported by the community at this time are improvements to the Oostburg Elementary School.  The LRPC studied the option of remodeling the 60 year old south elementary wing and found that solution to be less cost effective than to replace it.  Local stakeholders with significant school construction experience have affirmed the recommendations provided by architects as related to replacement vs. renovation.

The following recommendation was developed:

  • Replace south elementary wing
  • Add classroom space to meet current needs
  • Create new preparation kitchen for entire district with cafeteria/multipurpose room

The LRPC recommended a February 2016 referendum to address these needs.


In 2017, the District will pay off the middle school construction loan. As a result, beginning in 2018, the existing debt payment will begin to drop. The chart below shows that this reduction of loan payments could give the community an opportunity to invest $5 million in facility upgrades with no tax impact over the current level (as shown by the black line.) An investment of $9.59 million would represent an estimated annual tax increase of $25 for every $100,000 of a home’s value, over the current tax level. (*Assumes a 20-year borrowing period, a conservative 4.75% interest rate and the projected reduction in debt payments.)



Tax Impact Calculator

Est Fair Market Value:


Annual Tax Increase:


Monthly Tax Increase:

*Actual increase will vary depending on municipality of residence and represents an increase to current school debt taxes.

 Alternative: Download Tax Impact Calculator Oostburg SD excel

Frequently Asked Questions

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