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Six Kent ISD Districts Seek Funds for Buildings, Safety and Technology

Responding to the needs of aging buildings, heightened security and fast-moving technology, one-third of the Kent ISD’s 20 school districts will ask their voters to pay for school improvements next Tuesday, May 6.

Six districts are requesting either bond issues or building and site fund renewals for physical renovations and improvements, increased safety measures, technology upgrades and transportation.

The requests range from $3.6 million to $76.1 million over several years. Only two would result in actual tax increases, however; rates in the other districts would stay the same.

A seventh district, Kelloggsville Public Schools, is asking voters to renew its state-authorized, non-homestead property tax levy of 18.2044 mills for school operations.

One mill equals $1 per $1,000 of a property’s taxable value. This means, for example, $50 on a $100,000 home assessed at $50,000.

Following is a brief rundown of the six other districts’ millage requests including some of the major proposed projects to be funded. More details can be found in previous School News Network stories on each district (links below)

CALEDONIA COMMUNITY SCHOOLS

Request: $41 million bond issue

Tax: 7 mills, no increase to tax rates as it extends the current bond payment schedule

Proposed projects: $28 million, new building for ninth-graders and electives, $5.9 million, buildings and grounds renovations and improvements, $4.5 million, technology upgrades, $2.6 million, safety and security

Details: Caledonia to Vote on No-Increase Bond

COMSTOCK PARK PUBLIC SCHOOLS

Request: A renewal of its building and site fund for another 10 years, yielding approximately $360,000 per year or $3.6 million total

Tax: 0.9984 mills, no increase to current tax rate

Proposed projects: Roof repair, parking lot repaving, new windows and doors; classroom carpet and student lockers at high school and middle school; possible team room and lights at athletic stadium

Details: Comstock Park Seeks Renewal of Sinking Fund

EAST GRAND RAPIDS PUBLIC SCHOOLS

Request: $30.9 million bond issue

Tax: 2.5 mills, an increase of $375 on a $300,000 home

Proposed projects: $16 million, facility efficiencies and improvements, $10 million, technology (purchases split between 2014 and 2019), $6 million, safety and security

Details: Security, Technology Upgrades Key to EGR Bond Request

NORTHVIEW PUBLIC SCHOOLS

Request: Renewal of its building and site fund for 10 years, yielding $667,000 per year or $6.67 million total

Tax: 1.2056 mills, no increase to current tax rate

Proposed projects: Renovating school entrances for security, roof repair or replacement at two schools, parking lot and landscaping improvements at all schools, new fiber optic cabling between Highlands Middle and High School

Details: Northview Asks Voters to Maintain Students’ Learning Homes

ROCKFORD PUBLIC SCHOOLS

Request: $76.1 million bond issue

Tax: 8.5 mills, no increase to current debt retirement millage

Proposed projects: $50 million, capital improvements, $15 million, technology upgrades, $11 million, safety and security

Details:  Bond Request: ‘We Want to Keep that Standard High’

THORNAPPLE KELLOGG SCHOOLS

Request: $6 million bond issue

Tax: 0.73 mill, an increase of $54.75 on a $150,000 home

Proposed projects: $5.3 million, facility renovations and replacements including security improvements, $1.7 million, technology upgrades, $700,000, transportation needs

Details:  TK Bond Request to Focus on Security, Technology

KELLOGGSVILLE PUBLIC SCHOOLS

Request: Renewal of 18 mills non-homestead tax levy

Tax: Allows district to levy 18 mills on commercial properties and second homes. Homeowner’s primary residences are exempt.

Proposed projects: Funding will provide operational costs to the district. Allows district to continue to receive per-pupil foundation allowance.

Details: Kelloggsville Voters will be asked to Renew Non-Homestead Millage

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Charles Honey
Charles Honey
Charles Honey is editor-in-chief of SNN, and covers Rockford and Grand Rapids. As a reporter for The Grand Rapids Press/mLive from 1985 to 2009, his beats included Grand Rapids Public Schools, local colleges and education issues. Honey served as editor of The Press’ award-winning Religion section for 15 years and its columnist for 20. His freelance articles have appeared in Christianity Today, Religion News Service and Faith & Leadership magazine. Read Charles' full bio or email Charles.

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