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On the March in Footville

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In Footville, Wisc., a lot of pupils are hoofing it this fall.

The board thought it was doing Footville Elementary students a favor when it decided in June that a 50-year-old section of the school needed renovation. The building's extensive water damage, cracking walls, falling plaster, and dry rot was unsafe, the board said, calling for a $2-million bond referendum to pay for the needed repairs.

But voters decided not to, well, foot the bill.

Now the kindergartners march across the street to Footville Methodist Church for school, and 5th and 6th graders saunter to classes in the school's gymnasium and library.

However, all of this perambulation has administrators concerned about cost, and students may be moved again in the next few weeks. To save $3,700 in rent and to have more space, kindergartners will be bused eight blocks to St. Augustine Catholic Church, and 5th graders will attend classes in the basement of the Footville State Bank. The whole program still will cost the district $23,991.

District officials are considering putting another referendum before the voters in October, said Principal Pat G. Hamele. "We have a great many space needs and educational needs across the district," she said.

She said she hopes Footville taxpayers will realize they have to, er, toe the line this time.--kg

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