School mill in Greater Lansing, loan proposals to vote on Tuesday
LANSING – Three school districts in Greater Lansing are polling for millions of dollars in public support for school improvements, safety and technology upgrades, and sports facility updates.
Holt Public Schools, Okemos Public Schools, and Waverly Community Schools will call on voters to approve proposals for millage or bonds during Tuesday’s election. Funding would cover a range of works from school bus purchases and safety improvements to school renovations, improvements, general maintenance and operations.
Get public schools
The Holt Public Schools will ask voters to approve a $ 148 million loan proposal for a number of projects that Superintendent David Hornak said would develop the Holt Schools.
It is the school district’s first loan proposal in more than a decade.
The current school tax rate would decrease $ 1.77 million from the previous year and fund improvements over eight years in four categories – critical infrastructure, security, innovation and learning environments.
District officials plan to rebuild the elementary schools in Dimondale and Sycamore and either upgrade or replace existing playgrounds. Curbs, sidewalks and sidewalks would be replaced by additional work such as lighting, electrics, plumbing and roof replacement.
Visitors to Holt schools already have to use a buzzer and explain why they are there before logging into the office. However, additional security enhancements covered by the bond ensure that all visitors log in before staff allow them into the building.
Holt High School would shift more funds back to 9th to 12th grade students. The high school is currently divided into two locations, one for 9th-11th grade students and one for senior citizens.
This would allow the district to convert one of the buildings into the North Campus Innovation Center. It would be home to programs for multiple grade levels, including Destination Imagination, Robotics, Aviation, Vocational and Technical Education, Double Enrollment, and Early College.
According to Hornak, it is important to reduce the number of different buildings students go to before graduating from Holt Public Schools.
“We have learned that the longer a student stays in a particular building, the greater their sense of belonging and the greater the impact that relationship has on students,” he said. “In other words, students develop relationships with teachers and school staff, and good things happen.
“We believe this is a well thought out bond proposal and over the next eight years you will see if it succeeds, a new Holt Public.”
Public schools in Okemos
Okemos Public Schools is asking voters to expand the existing sinking fund to pay for technology and security improvements.
Taxpayers would not see a change in the existing tax rate, Superintendent John Hood explained, but the number of uses for the fund would expand to roof replacement, sports field repairs including the removal of an aging press box and increased outdoor lighting.
The fund would also replace obsolete computers and other technology, removing the need for the school district to seek a technology millage in the future, Hood said.
The Meridian Senior Center in the east wing of Chippewa Middle School will see further improvements and renovations.
The current tax rate of $ 0.9861 million, or approximately $ 0.98 per $ 1,000 of taxable value, would be extended for an additional 10 years.
Okemos Public Schools is also urging taxpayers to renew a 20-Mill-Millage by 2031. The tax generates approximately $ 9.3 million per year, which is roughly 17% of the school district’s budget. It helps cover operational costs that range from employee salaries to textbooks.
“We cannot afford to run our programs if it is not approved,” said Hood.
Waverly Community Schools
Waverly Community Schools on Tuesday tabled a 30-year US $ 125 million bond proposal aimed at increasing the primary school’s capacity and improving all of the district’s school buildings.
The proposal is an extension of the current tax rate – about $ 4.12 million, or $ 4.12 per $ 1,000 of taxable value. Superintendent Kelly Blake said the school district could add additional buildings to the Elmwood and Winans elementary school buildings and house the kindergarten through fourth grade students in one building.
Approval of the loan proposal would, as part of the district’s lease partnership with Delta Township, improve the mechanical system throughout the district, add new buses and technology for students, secure school vestibules, and renovate locker rooms and showers at Waverly East Intermediate School for Bring community classes with them.
Contact Mark Johnson at 517-377-1026 or [email protected] Follow him on Twitter at @ByMarkJohnson.