May 8, 2018 election: What’s on the ballot

Elections
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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — On May 8, voters in several school districts across West Michigan will decide the fate of bond proposals aimed at improving classrooms.

Here are some of the largest proposals on the ballot:

KALAMAZOO PUBLIC SCHOOLS: $96,700,000 BOND

At more than $96 million, this is the largest bond Kalamazoo Public Schools has ever put before voters. If approved, the district says the funding will be broken up as follows:

  • Replace outdated facilities and equipment such as roofs, boilers, parking lots, lighting, windows, and buses (46 percent of the total bond)
  • Improve/replace technology (10 percent)
  • Replace Edison Environmental Science Academy (27 percent)
  • Improve security in schools by modifying entrances and adding/replacing cameras (4 percent)
  • Construct an addition to Phoenix High School (7 percent)
  • Construct a districtwide kitchen (5 percent)
  • Fund mandatory costs related to the issuance of bonds (1 percent)

GULL LAKE COMMUNITY SCHOOLS: $64,955,000 BOND

The district is proposing building a new Kellogg Elementary School, a new classroom wing at Richland Elementary, new classrooms at Ryan Intermediate School, and a new auditorium at the high school. The proposal also calls for new technology, furniture and building maintenance improvements.

SAUGATUCK PUBLIC SCHOOLS: $50,700,000 BOND, SINKING FUND

Two proposals are on the ballot for voters in the Saugatuck Public School district.

Proposal 1 is a large bond proposal. The district says the money would be used for:

  • Constructing a new middle school/high school music and band suite, and a dedicated middle school art room
  • Transforming outdated media centers into modern learning commons with integrated technology
  • Adding new makerspaces
  • Enhancing hallways into collaborative learning spaces
  • Transitioning cafeterias to multi-purpose spaces
  • Creating new staff collaboration spaces
  • Building a welcoming, natural atmosphere with better access to daylight and outside views
  • Introducing flexible and functional storage and furniture
  • Redesigning imaginative playground and outdoor learning spaces

Proposal 2 is a building and site sinking fund. If approved, this fund will raise an estimated $300,000 a year to be used on ongoing school repairs and technology upgrades.

PORTLAND PUBLIC SCHOOLS: $24,965,000 BOND RENEWAL

The proposal by Portland Public Schools would raise nearly $25 million for building upgrades without raising the current millage rate.

The district says the money would be used to create secure entrances at every school, buy new technology, renovate classroom spaces, add two new early childhood classrooms and fund repairs and maintenance for district buildings.

BIG RAPIDS: $24,950,000 BOND

The first proposal is a renewal of the district’s operating millage.

The second proposal is a new bond for building improvements. In November 2017, a similar $26 million bond proposal failed by seven votes. The district made some small changes and the slightly smaller bond proposal is back on the ballot.

If approved, the money would fund a new multipurpose athletic field, additions to Brookside and Riverview elementary schools, building repair and maintenance, a one-to-one technology upgrade, security upgrades and new buses.

MONTABELLA COMMUNITY SCHOOLS: $21,415,000 BOND RENEWAL 

This proposal would fund district improvements without raising the current millage rate. The plan calls for an addition to connect the elementary building to the junior/senior high school. It also calls for:

  • Major infrastructure upgrades to both schools, including parking lots and driveways, roofing, and mechanical/electrical improvements
  • Security vestibules at both school buildings
  • New, larger elementary school classrooms with updated technology and furnishings.
  • An additional gym for physical education classes and practice space
  • A new fitness room, band and building storage, restrooms and central office

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