La Follette Gets a Facelift
By Elijah Rader
The people of Madison voted to pass a historic school referendum in the Madison Metropolitan School District. Under this new referendum, an additional $317 million will be borrowed for the district to make a wide variety of improvements. This could exceed the current revenue limit (the amount of money the district is allowed to raise from state general aid and property tax) by $6 million in the 2020-21 year, $8 million in the 2021-22 year, $9 million in the following year, until the 2023-24 school year when it reaches $10 million, which will bring the total to a constant $33 million in extra funds each year after. Included in this brand new budget will be $70 million going to each of the district's high schools, which, of course, includes La Follette, which hasn’t received major renovations since the 1960’s. This referendum gained massive support, getting over 75% “yes” votes during the November election.
Now, we know that the budget is being increased, but what will that extra money do? “This referendum will impact us at LHS by giving our building a serious facelift! Unused spaces will become functional and usable, and our building will change to meet the demands of our current time period,” La Follette educator Darcy Poquette said. This means goodbye to our outdated classrooms and floors, and hello to a new modern look that is sure to be a welcome addition. “I am looking forward to our students feeling excited about the new changes in the building and proud of the way our building looks,” Poquette added. Although it may seem small, walking through an updated and modern area can give students the extra boost they need. A clean environment seems to always help the mood and overall vibe of a school. With old unused rooms being updated and equipped for learning with new materials, the building will gain a great leap forward in not only the look, but the overall education and wellbeing of students. The area at La Follette known previously as “The Pit” is going to be renovated into a brand new instructional area. There will also be new STEM and fine arts areas implemented, as well as upgrades to the Welcome Center in hopes of making it a more secure and accessible entrance to the school. To improve hallway congestion, the district would like to expand the busiest corridors of the school, including the C-Wing. There is an additional push to focus on sustainability and energy efficiency to reduce La Follette’s carbon footprint. This could include an increase in natural and LED lighting, the use of solar panels, and updates to the school’s mechanical systems. Moving forward, check La Follette’s website to stay up to date on opportunities to share your feedback on the proposed renovations. Students, staff, and families are all excited to see this vision take action.