SL schools evaluating the options

Marie Havenga • Jul 21, 2015 at 12:39 PM

That's good news for district leaders who hope to set a course June 24, when they are scheduled to vote on a bond campaign for the November election.

The board reviewed compiled data from last week's public forum at the high school — primarily the pros and cons of two favored concepts distilled from vision planning sessions in March and last week's roundtable discussions among staff and community members.

Although several hybrid options were bantered about, the choices appear to be narrowed to the following two plans:

*Concept B ($61 million to $66 million): Building two new elementary schools to replace Holmes and Jeffers is a popular option among community members and school staff. A new Holmes would be built directly south of the middle school/intermediate school, and the bus/maintenance facility would be relocated to the township site. A new football stadium, and baseball, softball, soccer and practice fields would be developed north of the high school. Pre-kindergarten classes would be accommodated at the new yet-to-be-determined Jeffers location.

*Concept C ($53 million to $57 million): A new districtwide “super elementary school” would be built at a yet-to-be-determined site, featuring two wings — one for pre-kindergarten through second grade and the other for grades 3-4. The students would share a gymnasium and cafeteria, but with separate dining and recreation times. Operational costs likely would be lower than with two separate elementary schools, Furton said. The stadium would remain in its current location under this plan, but the bus/maintenance facility would be relocated to 144th Avenue.

Concept A — remodeling Holmes and Jeffers — apparently dropped out of the running after last week's forum participants found few positives to that plan.

All of the proposed plans include improvements to the high school, middle and intermediate schools, and athletic fields.

Although the cost estimates vary, Furton said the cost to taxpayers would be the same per year no matter which option is chosen — 0.569 mill. That equates to $34 for the owner of a $120,000 home, $57 for a $200,000 home and $85 for a $300,000 home.

The difference would be in the duration of the levy.

To read more of this story, see today’s print or e-edition of the Grand Haven Tribune.

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