LA CROSSE Wis. (WLAX/WEUX) – Due to budget deficits and declining enrollment, the school district of La Crosse will be closing Lincoln Middle School later this year. The school board voted last night to close the school on August 31st.

District officials say budget deficits for next school year start at five million dollars and will rise to ten million in six years. In addition, the district has seen a 23 percent decline in students since 2001, with its three middle schools operating at just 47 percent of their capacity.

The district says consolidating into two middle schools will eliminate over five million dollars in maintenance needs. The school board also approved a 60-million-dollar operational referendum for the April ballot, which would replace the existing referendum that expires after the next school year.