'Super school' proceeds

Krystle Wagner • Jul 21, 2015 at 12:48 PM

Spring Lake Public Schools Superintendent Dennis Furton presented the recommendation formed by an internal review committee made up of board members, administrators and district employees.

The committee’s recommendation for Concept C asks for a bond not to exceed $60 million paid over 30 years. The bond would raise the district's debt levy to 7 mills, an increase of 0.569 of a mill.

The bond proposal will go before voters on Nov. 5.

If the proposition passes, the owner of a home valued at $120,000 would see an increase of $34 a year on their property tax bill. For the owner of a $200,000 home, that would mean an increase of $57 a year.

Furton said the reoccurring theme throughout the discussions involved safety, security, forging a common vision and 21st-century learning.

Concept C calls for:

• One school for grades K-4 with upper and lower elementary wings, and shared facilities

• Major remodeling at the intermediate/middle school, upgrades at the high school

• Relocate bus/maintenance facility to township site

• Remove portable classrooms

• Maintain stadium at village location

• Improved traffic patterns

• Additional parking and practice fields at the high school

As school districts throughout the state tighten their belts and reduce staff, the Spring Lake district is seeking a community-supported bond to further learning in the 21st century.

Furton said the district's 60-year-old buildings are costing them money in inefficiencies.

“Infrastructure needs are costing us precious operational money,” he said.

The new elementary school would be about 100,000 square feet with wings for upper and lower elementary grades. Furton said the design is “much more economical” compared to the current two-school arrangement.

The district doesn’t yet have building designs, but has plans of what concepts would look like, depending on the yet-to-be-determined location of the school.

Furton said the district has identified a location that would suit the buildings’ needs, but has yet to enter into a binding contract. District officials would pursue negotiations to purchase land if the community passes the bond, he added.

If voters approve the bond, the district anticipates seeing a decrease in operational costs by about $150,000 a year, or about $4.5 million throughout the bond's 30 years.

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

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