SL schools highlighted at meeting

Sandy Parker said she bought a home in Spring Lake Village years ago because it gave her family the opportunity to walk to school.
Krystle Wagner
Apr 2, 2014

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.

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



The government is trying to get into our wallets again. Didn't we vote no on this less than 6 months ago? I'll be sure to show up again on May 6th and vote NO again.


I voted "No" last November as well but just so you understand this new bond proposal is different from the previous one. After the defeat in November it was determined that the community needed to be "heard" so phone polling and community meetings were used to get this input to see if a different proposal was warrented. It was through this process that this new proposal was created.

I am not trying to get you to vote "Yes". I just wanted you to know that this proposal is different from the last one. More of an education response on my part. Thanks for your comment and also for exercising your right to vote.


We live in a "society" which means investing in society. $40 over 12 months is a cheap investment in educating our fellow members of society. Are you really whining over less than $4 a month?

Do you think if we don't invest in our schools and maintain them our real estate values might go down, costing us more than $4 a month. Presently, Grand Haven Area Schools and Spring Lake Schools are among the best in the state. This community has invested in the betterment of our "community". Schools are important. It's absurd to get petty over less than $4 a month. Did you get your "knickers in a bunch" over charging two wars on a credit card? How about the $$$$$ that is "unaccounted for"- which is tax payer money? How about the public monies that subsidize private companies which in turn send the jobs out of state and out of country? Have you voted "no" on those? Public education is one of the best deals going.


Next the teachers will want a raise and they'll want $40. More.


The bond proposal has nothing to do with teachers and their compensation. No money from this bond proposal can be used to pay teachers.


How dare employees want to make more money than the previous year. However this has nothing to do with teacher salary.


We think both of these bond proposals are very reasonable. Since the original bond proposal to replace the schools failed back in November, it's a necessity to repair and update the current buildings. The costs to maintain older buildings is extremely high and when repairs can be made those costs will go down.
The need for sports fields is obvious. So many students participate in sports, which is a great thing! We need to provide an adequate, safe environment for the athletes and their competitors.
Both of these proposals are an investment for the current and future students. It's inevitable, it has to be done and if we do it now, the costs are much lower than if we wait. Please vote YES and pass both proposals.

Post a Comment

Log in to your account to post comments here and on other stories, galleries and polls. Share your thoughts and reply to comments posted by others. Don't have an account on Create a new account today to get started.