Fruitport schools bond passes by 181 votes

Krystle Wagner • Nov 9, 2016 at 8:00 AM

Change is coming to Fruitport schools.

According to unofficial election results, Fruitport Community Schools voters approved the 3.9-mill bond proposal with 4,666 yes votes to 4,485 no votes. The bond will generate a little more than $51 million.

Funds would go toward building a two-story high school structure, which would replace the 1950s portion of the existing high school; replace buses that are 20 years old; and provide funding for addressing high-priority items outlined on the district’s facility assessment.

The owner of a home valued at $100,000 will pay an additional $195 a year.

Fruitport Community Schools Superintendent Bob Szymoniak attributes the successful bond proposal to the Yes! For Fruitport’s Future committee’s efforts of knocking on hundreds of doors, dedicating hundreds of hours and their own money to making it happen.

“They did it because they care about our community and they care about our kids,” Szymoniak said.

The new high school structure will be built behind the current building, and the existing building will be demolished to make room for improved traffic flow and parking.

The portable structures would be removed, and the tennis courts would be moved to the area behind the middle school.

The building will include a Robotics/S.T.E.M./wood shop area, art room, media center, science rooms and labs, kitchen, and an auditorium.

The high school is slated to cost a little more than $48.6 million.

The next 14 months are expected to include a design phase, and the project would ground breaking in spring 2018.

It’s anticipated that staff and students would transition into the new building during the 2019-20 school year.

The bond proposal is part of a multiphase plan to address the district’s aging buildings.

About every 10 years, the district plans to bring bond proposals before the community to extend the life of the 3.9-mills. Funds would be used to address the aging facilities and infrastructure throughout the district.

“Our community in Fruitport has tremendous things to look forward to and this bond proposal is just the beginning,” Szymoniak said. “Our community is moving forward, and we will be the beacon for educational excellent on the lakeshore.”

Spring Lake schools operating millage

Voters approved the two-year 18-mill operating millage levied against non-principal residences and other non-exempt properties.

The millage received 4,677 yes votes to 2,417 no votes.

Spring Lake Public Schools will collect about $2.7 million annually. Funds generated from the operating millage will be used toward salaries, supplies, student transportation and other operational costs.

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