Parker said she isn’t opposed to updating Spring Lake’s schools, but she voted against the bond proposal presented to voters in November 2013 because it took the “community school” out of the village and removed the walkability factor.
Parker was among about a dozen community members who attended the Spring Lake school district’s forum Tuesday afternoon at Spring Lake District Library, where Superintendent Dennis Furton discussed the district’s latest bond proposals.
Furton explained that the two bond proposals voters will see on the May 6 ballot, which would total about $54 million if both are approved, are the culmination of work by a 33-person committee that weighed the district’s facility needs with information obtained through surveys of registered voters. That information included why voters rejected the bond proposal last fall.
Parker said the new plan for Holmes Elementary School concerns her because there wouldn’t be a “nice, neat” entrance for students walking to school. Furton said school officials could look into that idea.
However, Parker said she likes that Proposal 1 would keep Holmes in the village.
Proposal 1 includes major renovations and additions to Holmes and Jeffers elementary schools, renovations to the intermediate/middle school, minor upgrades at the high school, technology upgrades throughout the district, and bus purchases. The estimated cost for the proposal is $49.8 million.
Proposal 2 provides improvements to Grabinski Stadium, new multi-purpose turf fields at the high school for lacrosse and soccer, upgrades for the existing practice fields, additional parking, and restrooms at the high school tennis courts. The estimated cost for this proposal is $4.47 million.
The passage of both proposals would increase the district’s current debt from 6.33 mills to 7 mills until the bonds expire in 2043. The proposals aren’t contingent upon passage of one or the other.
If they both are approved by voters next month, the owner of a home valued at $120,000 would pay an extra $40.20 annually.
After Spring Lake school district voters failed to pass a $59.8 million bond proposal last year, the district worked with survey research firm EPIC-MRA to analyze results and ask approximately 300 voters about future considerations.
“It was the wrong proposal for our district,” Furton said officials concluded.
Voters have at least three more opportunities to learn about the bond proposals. Public meetings will take place at 6:30 p.m. April 17 at Spring Lake District Library, 6:30 p.m. April 22 at Crockery Township Hall, and at 4 p.m. April 27 at Spring Lake High School.
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