Holland schools seeks $74M bond for building improvements

Ottawa County

HOLLAND, Mich. (WOOD) — Holland Public Schools is asking the community to consider voting yes on a $74.65 million dollar bond proposal that will be on the May ballot. 

School leaders say if approved, the Build 2021 proposal would allow for district-wide improvements, including new K-5 learning spaces, upgraded technology, renovations to the middle and high school and improved health and safety. 

Jason Craner, the district’s spokesperson said there are classrooms in some of the buildings that haven’t been updated since they were built in 1959.

“We have a teacher who today is teaching in a classroom, a second-grade classroom, where she went to second grade back in the 70s. We really need to replace some of these classrooms to bring them up to date, to bring technology up to date,” he said. 

The bond is expected to lower tax bills for property owners because there is old debt dropping off this year. 

“If Build 2021 passes, the district’s debt millage rate is actually going to drop or is expected to drop from 4.98 mills in 2020 to 4.73 in 2021. The tax impact for our property owner in 2021 is going to be an estimated reduction of 12.50 cents for every 100,000 of market value for your property,” Craner explained. 

So far, he said there’s been tremendous support from the community over the past few years as the district planned for this proposal.

“I know our community members are excited to see that we are able to do all of this work and not raise the tax debt on the community. It’s just a responsible way to make sure that our kids have the things that they need and the buildings that they deserve.”

The proposal would happen over three phases. A lot of the work would happen at the existing buildings during the summers of 2021 and 2022, but Craner said the bulk of the money would go towards constructing new classrooms at Holland height and west elementary. That would start in 2023. 

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