OSHKOSH, Wis. (WFRV)-- As the fate of Oaklawn Elementary school remains uncertain, former and current students and staff gathered to celebrate its 60th anniversary.
People in Oshkosh will vote on a referendum next Tuesday to decide if Oaklawn will be rebuilt at the cost of $13 million. If the referendum doesn't pass the school will close and the school district will re-district the city, moving some students around.
With the referendum just nine days away, more than 300 people gathered to celebrate the 60th anniversary.
Sherry Zaske sent her her two children here almost 30 years ago and Sunday here grandson gave her a tour of his kindergarten classroom at Oaklawn.
"We need this school here, and they need to make this a permanent solution for keeping it here," said Zaske.
The building hasn't changed much from the time Zaske's kids went here, something most of the alumni remarked about while visiting to celebrate 60 years, but not far from their minds is the looming referendum and thoughts of possibly losing the school.
"It would be a dramatic loss, I mean we have apartments going up across the street where are we going to go with these children," said Zaske.
Liz Lynch has lead the fight to get the school rebuilt since late 2010, and believes the city needs the new school in order to keep up with the demand. The new school would have a capacity of around 450, they currently have 263 students.
"Losing Oaklawn would force us to be at a point where we would not have any room for growth. a family would move into Oshkosh and may not have rooms," said Lynch, "Structurally the school is falling apart. It leaks, the roof leaks, my sons classroom leaked so much they had to be removed."
Opponents of the referendum say now is not the time to raise taxes and that enrolment continues to drop in the district.
April 3 it will be up to the community to decide what should happen.
"We want to be able to have all of our kids have an equal learning opportunity and right now that's not happening and we have the opportunity to change that on April 3rd," said Lynch.