- Sponsorship -

District asks millage increase for improved facilities, technology


Voters will head to the polls Tuesday, May 8 to consider a sinking fund to pay for  facility maintenance and improvements, as well as technology upgrades including new classroom Chromebooks.

If approved, the fund would generate about $300,000 annually for safety, energy, security and technology improvements, said Superintendent Kevin Polston. The 3-mill, 10-year sinking fund would replace the district’s existing 1.9976-mill fund, which expires this year.

Related: Superintendent: millage renewal approvals ‘essential’ for district

On average, property owners would see a $34 annual increase on their property taxes, based on the average $68,000 value of a house in the district.

“As stewards of taxpayer dollars it is important that we maintain our buildings,” Polston said, noting that minor maintenance needs can fester into big expenses. “I believe our community expects the environment our students are in to be on par with that of other communities.”

Sinking funds allow school districts to levy a property tax, the revenue from which is set aside for use as needed. In 2016, the Michigan Legislature authorized sinking funds to be used for technology and security upgrades, in addition to building repairs and renovations. Without a sinking fund the district’s general fund must pay for maintenance and technology, Polston said.

The fund would be used for the following:

  • 1 mill for technology, including replacing aging student laptops with Chromebooks at a cost of about $167 each. Plans are to continue having enough devices for each student in sixth through 12th grades for use at school, and to add more to elementary classrooms. The sinking fund could pay for two cycles of technology replacement.
  • Replacing the 20-year-old phone system, classroom projectors and the district’s Wi-Fi server.

Other projects could include:

  • new carpet throughout the district over the next 10 years
  • playground improvements at Godfrey Elementary
  • roof, sidewalks, entryway and railing improvements
  • new decking around portable facilities
  • irrigation on the practice field behind the Godfrey Early Childhood Center.
  • LED lighting
  • climate-control systems with efficient heating and cooling.
- Sponsorship -
Erin Albanese
Erin Albanese
Erin Albanese is associate managing editor and reporter, covering Byron Center, Kentwood, Wyoming and Grand Rapids Community College. She was one of the original SNN staff writers, helping launch the site in 2013 and enjoys fulfilling the mission of sharing the stories of public education. She 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, On-the-Town Magazine and Group Tour Media. Read Erin's full bio or email Erin.

LATEST ARTICLES

Looking for classroom lessons in the great outdoors

Sally Triant is exploring every GRPS campus in the city, looking for places to turn the outdoors into an educational opportunity...

Fourth-grader’s pickle stand inspired by school marketplace

‘With my tiny fingers, I am good at stuffing them,’ said the young pickle peddler. ‘You can see how they are packed in, so you get more for the money’...

Home schooling inquiries grow as parents ponder how to meet children’s needs

The pandemic has caused parents to seek options for schooling and socialization. For some, home schooling becomes an option, while others create new ways to help their children...

GRPS to continue virtual-only instruction for rest of semester

GRPS leaders decided to extend the district's 100 percent virtual learning model for the rest of the first semester after the Kent County Health Department announced rapidly rising COVID-19 positivity rates...

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Related Articles

Pilot program provides COVID testing at school and home

In partnership with the Kent County Health Department, the district is the first in Kent County to offer school-based testing for the novel coronavirus...

CARES funding helps schools meet COVID-related costs

Across Kent County, schools are benefitting from an infusion of funds thanks to $2 million from the Kent County Board of Commissioners via the Kent County CARES Act School Grant Program...

Virtual community meeting Thursday to discuss district bond proposal

An online community meeting Thursday will give voters information about the Nov. 3 ballot proposal asking for a $17.79 million bond issue...
- Sponsorship -

HOW'S SCHOOL TODAY?

Engagement: The Most Important Measure of Student Success

Polls find that students’ engagement in their school work declines as they ascend the grades. Tests that don’t relate to their real-life experiences exacerbate the problem...

RADEMACHER & FRIENDS

Food ‘angels’ support hungry kids through pandemic

They work all across Kent County, guardian angels with peanut butter on their hands and crumbs on their shirtsleeves...
- Sponsorship -

MEDIA PARTNERS

Maranda Where You LiveWGVU

SUSTAINING SPONSORS