By Raymond Neupert/South Metro Observer

WESTON, Wis – Business leaders and community members got a tour of the technical education facilities at D.C .Everest Senior High as part of the district’s push for voters to approve a facilities referendum.

Improvements to the tech ed departments is a major part of a proposed $59.8 referendum coming up for a vote in the spring election.

Career and Technical Education Coordinator Aaron Hoffman says those facilities are not currently getting students ready for the current environments of manufacturing jobs.

“We do not project the image that our workforce partners that our workforce partners are trying to put forth in their facilities,” Hoffman said.

Facilities at DC Everest are showing their age, and are currently unable to be renovated in place without major changes. Much of the equipment is outdated and aging, and Hoffman says it doesn’t reflect current manufacturing techniques, nor is it a cohesive learning environment.

As part of the tour at the high school, Hoffman showed off the aging facilities. Many of the Tech Ed rooms have been expanded over the years, but that expansion has created blind spots where students are out of sight of teachers.

In addition, the current electrical systems are being pushed to their limit, especially when working with welding and metal manufacturing equipment.

“We’ve had offers from companies to donate new equipment, but we have to tell them we just don’t have the capacity to run it,” Hoffman said.

The district is looking to open up the spaces in the technical education department, and break away from separating out the trade skills into separate areas. Hoffman says that’s how the business model is moving these days.

“They’re looking to promote flexible environments where they can be responsive to the customer needs, and we need to emulate that in our learning environments.”

Current estimates show that the average tax rate impact from the funding referendum will be $36 a year for a $150,000 home.

Learn more about the meeting and the referendum online at https://www.dce.k12.wi.us/Page/2565.