Taxpayers to Consider Renovation Bond

Kelloggsville High School will undergo a renovation and expansion to the point it’s “considered new” if a bond request is approved Tuesday, Feb. 24, said Superintendent Sam Wright.

Voters will consider the $30 million proposal to fund the major building redesign at the high school, 23 Jean St. SW, and other facility improvements. The major selling point: the bond won’t raise district’s current tax levy.

Superintendent Sam Wright said homeowners may actually see a decrease in their property tax bills, because the district’s current debt is set to expire. Passage of the bond would decrease the current levy from 7.32 to 7.25 mills.

The 156-year-old district, which last approved bond issues in 1998 to remodel the high school cafeteria and lobby area, and in 1994 to build Kelloggsville Middle School, 4650 Division Ave., is in need of facilityimprovements, Wright said.

The bulk of the request — $27 million — will go toward improvements at the high school, demolition of a 1930’s wing, and a large addition to be completed over the next three years. The parking lot will be reconfigured and the entrance of the school changed from Jean Street to Division Avenue. Students will be able to exit the school at the 48th Street stoplight.

“Kids currently come off Jean Street and its a safety issue,” he said.

A new competitive-sized gymnasium will host varsity games, currently held at Kelloggsville Middle School, and allow for more practice space; the auditorium will receive theater-style seating for 480; a media center outfitted for the latest technology will serve as a hub for learning and community center. Use of facilities will be open to the community.

“Traditionally, high schools are the center of the community. We haven’t made that a priority. We will make that a priority,” Wright said.

The project will demolish an old 12-classroom wing along Jean Street, renovate the existing media center and a courtyard area into six new classrooms.

About $3 million in improvements are planned at other districts facilities, mainly to enhance security, Wright said.

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Erin Albanese
Erin Albanese has worked as a journalist in the Grand Rapids area since 2000. A graduate of Central Michigan University, she has written for The Grand Rapids Press, Advance Newspapers and On-the-Town Magazine. She has been covering the many exciting facets of K-12 public education for School News Network since 2013. Read Erin's full bio

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