LISBON - The former Lied's Nursery property in the town of Lisbon could be the site of a future intermediate school for the Hamilton School District.
Negotiations are underway between the district and town; in total, four entities are involved in part of the zoning portion of the deal, including the village of Menomonee Falls and Waukesha County.
The school district is seeking 30 acres of the approximately 70-acre Lied's property to address its enrollment concerns due to projected growth.
The Community Facilities Advisory Committee of the Hamilton School Board favors the following plan to address the issues: develop a new intermediate school to serve grades 5-6; the existing elementary schools would become 5K - grade 4 and the middle school would become grades 7-8; updates and an addition to the east end would be made to the high school.
"Right now, the things that are being considered (in negotiations for the Lied's property) are related to infrastructure and zoning, so things like water and road access," said Denise Dorn Lindberg, public information coordinator for the Hamilton School District.
According to Lindberg, there have been discussions about either buying the land outright, or doing a land swap with Lisbon. The school district owns property on Silver Spring Drive near the pumpkin farm, which Lindberg said, if the Lied's site cannot be developed into a school, that land could work for a future school site as well.
“As long as the infrastructure issues – the road access and zoning issues – can be resolved, I believe they’re thinking it (negotiations on the Lied's property) might be able to be done by next fall," Lindberg said.
Even if the school board — and ultimately residents of the school district — decide the Lied's property is not the best choice for a school site, Lindberg said the district will likely still try to acquire the land.
"Even if we weren’t going to go ahead with a referendum for the intermediate school and high school expansion, the land negotiations would still go on because it’s a good opportunity for the school district," Lindberg said. "The school district can’t acquire land right before it wants to build because the school district needs to be forward-thinking in terms of looking at land for future schools because, by the time you need the schools, the land is already all developed."
This strategy was also utilized when the Hamilton School District developed the Woodside property, W236N7465 Woodside Road, into the elementary school it is today.
“The school board could decide right now is not the time for a referendum, but the acquisition of this land could still be a prudent decision on the school district’s part," Lindberg said.
Now, Lindberg said the school district's goal continues to be informing the community about the projected growth and options to address it.
“We’re trying to reach out to the community. We’re hoping to inform them about what the situation is with the growth and what some of the proposed options are and then the school board has to decide whether or not to take this to referendum," Lindberg said. "The community at large would vote on it. Our school board has not made a decision on whether we’re going to go to a referendum or not.”