Mark DiStefano Details South Beaver Dam Elementary Merger With Jefferson

(Beaver Dam) This is the final year that South Beaver Dam Elementary School will be open; starting next year students will transition into Jefferson Elementary School. Superintendent Mark DiStefano says some of the groundwork is already being laid for the merger. He anticipates opportunities for students at both Jefferson and South Beaver Dam to come together and for parents and PTOs to network. DiStefano expects more conversations about that that will look like and what the new opportunity is going to provide.

Construction at Jefferson Elementary to accommodate the increased student body is not expected to impact education. Once an architect and general contractor for the project is identified, he says there will be regular meetings this fall to determine timelines, specific scope of the work, etc. for the remainder of the calendar year. DiStefano says he does not anticipate much disruption for the majority of the year but he could see a change during the “heart of spring” but he says it is really important that Jefferson finish the year as cleanly and undisrupted as possible.

That being said, DiStefano says they still have an aggressive timeline, making sure they capture as much of the improvements as possible during the summer months. That means there could be some mobilization taking place at Jefferson at the very tail end of the school year. He says they will work very closely with school staff, parents and the community to make sure that it is beneficial and done well.

The Beaver Dam School Board approved a five-year facility plan in July that included the closure of South Beaver Dam Elementary School and its consolidated with Jefferson Elementary in 2020-2021. The decision stems from a five-year facility plan totaling over $12-million dollars – at all buildings except the high school – that includes taking on new debt without going to referendum. Around $2.25-million dollars will be used to accommodate the new students at Jefferson. The school district is also borrowing $5-million dollars this fall to address maintenance needs for the district and could borrow an additional $3-million dollars in 2021.