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Fruitport schools to hold informational meeting tonight

Krystle Wagner • Oct 4, 2016 at 12:00 PM

FRUITPORT — Residents of the Fruitport school district have a chance this evening to learn more about the schools’ bond proposal on the Nov. 8 ballot.

The informational meeting will take place at 7 p.m. at the Fruitport High School auditorium.

The district is asking voters to approve a 3.9-mill bond proposal that would build a two-story structure to house Fruitport High School and connect to 18-year-old additions, replace buses that are 20 years old, and provide funding to address high-priority items outlined in the district’s facility assessment.

If approved, the owner of a home valued at $100,000 would pay an additional $195 a year. The bond proposal will generate a little more than $51 million.

The proposed two-story high school addition would be built behind the existing building and connect to the gym and classroom additions made in 1998, said Fruitport Community Schools Superintendent Bob Szymoniak. The 1950s portion of the building would be demolished to make room for improved traffic flow and parking.

The bond proposal would also give the district a proper stage, new learning spaces to prepare students for today’s employment opportunities, and provide a new lab space for the robotics program, Szymoniak said.

“It would certainly offer vastly improved facilities for our students,” he said.

The November bond proposal is part of a multi-phase plan. Every 10 years, voters will be asked to approve a restructured bond debt that would extend the life of the 3.9 mills. Those bond proposals would allow for the remainder of the district’s buildings to be replaced on a cycle. The older the buildings become, the more they cost for upkeep, Szymoniak said.

The next building that would be addressed is Edgewood Elementary School, which would be 74 years old by the time it’s replaced. Beach Elementary School would be 100 years old by the time it’s replaced in 2038, and Shettler Elementary School would be 84 years old when it’s replaced in 2058.

Fruitport Middle School would be 89 years old by the time it’s replaced in 2058.

Although the high school isn’t the oldest in the district, the facilities committee decided the building was the Fruitport district’s “flagship” and gets the most community use, so it would be addressed first, Szymoniak said.

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