Districts urge voters to OK school upgrades May 3

Bond proposals on May 3 ballot for 7 school districts

(WOOD) – On May 3, seven school districts across West Michigan will be asking voters to approve proposals that would fund upgrades to their schools.

Three of those proposals would bring the districts additional money without increasing taxes for property owners, including:

Jenison Public Schools is asking voters to approve a $25 million dollar plan. The district says while the proposal would not increase the tax rate, it would allow the district to restructure its debt and bring in the additional funds. The money would be used for:

  • Replacing aging busses
  • Adding security cameras to schools
  • Creating secure entrances at the junior high and high school
  • Building a new school near Fairhaven Church on Baldwin

The new building would house the district Early Childhood Center and Spanish Immersion program, which have experienced substantial growth. The transition to the new building would free up 14 classrooms at other elementary schools, space district leaders say is needed due to the number of young families moving into the district.

More information: http://www.jpsonline.org/our-district/bond-info/

Newaygo Public Schools is asking voters to approve nearly a $23 million plan that would not increase the tax rate. The funding would be used for:

  • Combining elementary schools into a renovated Velma Matson Elementary
  • Updating and improving security to entrances at the middle and high schools
  • Improving playgrounds
  • Upgrading technology

More information: http://www.newaygo.net/community/facilities/

Kalamazoo County’s Comstock Public Schools is asking voters to approve a $40.13 million bond proposal that would not increase the current tax rate. The funding would be used for:

  • Adding secure entrances at district buildings
  • Improving buildings
  • Upgrading technology

More information: http://www.comstockps.org/District/2016_bond

Other area bond proposals:

Kenowa Hills Public Schools is going back to voters for the third time in the past 12 months. The $55.24 million bond proposal would:

  • Improve aging facilities
  • Add secure entrances to schools
  • Repair/replace school roofs
  • Expand some school facilities
  • Rework parking lots to separate bus and car traffic

This proposal is identical to the measure on the November 2015 ballot, which failed by 23 votes. A $78.6 million version of the bond failed by 1,300 votes in May 2015.

More information: http://www.khps.org/district/bond/

Sparta Area Schools has placed a $58.6 million bond proposal on the ballot. The plan calls for:

  • Constructing a new middle school
  • Saving a portion of the old middle school for an early childhood center
  • Adding secure entrances to district buildings
  • Upgrading technology
  • Improving playgrounds and athletic facilities

More information: http://spartaareaschools.blogspot.com/

Lakeview Schools in Battle Creek has placed two proposals on the ballot.

Proposal 1 is a $30 million proposal to cover:

  • Revitalizing elementary school buil
  • dings and the middle school
  • Improving heating and cooling
  • Upgrading security at Lakeview High School
  • Renovating classroom spaces

Proposal 2 is a $3.3 million plan that would fund:

  • Improving Lakeview Middle School’s auditorium
  • Fixing Spartan Memorial Stadium

More information: http://www.lakeviewspartans.org/district.cfm?subpage=1992972

Hamilton Community Schools has placed a $22.67 million bond proposal on the ballot, which would fund:

  • Installing a new secure entrance at Hamilton High School
  • Upgrading security cameras at Hamilton High School
  • Enhance district technology
  • Repairing and renovating buildings
  • Creating a new district operations center
  • Adding new playgrounds
  • Improving district athletic facilities

More information: http://www.hamiltonschools.us/our-district/special-election/

**Correction: A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that the Newaygo bond would pay for a renovated Vera Wilsie Elementary. The bond would actually pay to expand Velma Matson Elementary. The article text has been corrected. We regret the error.

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