PORTAGE Mich. (WOOD) — Portage Public Schools will ask voters for a $175 million approval to replace and improve elementary schools.

The district says it will not increase property taxes because some existing bonds are set to expire, and interest rates are at historically low levels.

The funding would be used to build five new elementary schools and renovate one other elementary building.

The district says the buildings that would be replaced are in great need of costly repairs and do not meet the current needs of students.

If approved, the funding would also allow the district to purchase new fuel-efficient buses and provide updated technology.

Michelle Karpinski, the community relations manager for the district, says the projects will take years to complete and now is the right time to move forward with addressing the aging elementary buildings.

“They were originally designed to be like a 30-year building, and so we’ve extended their life far beyond what the expectation was. And so, it’s really time to upgrade our elementary schools just like we have with the middle and high schools and some additional elementary schools that were built a number of years ago,” Karpinski said.

Some in Portage have opposed the bond proposal saying their taxes are already too high and they would welcome a tax decrease.

Voters will decide on the bond proposal during the Aug. 3 election.

For more details on the proposal, visit the district’s website.