- Sponsorship -

Bond proposal addresses space needs, grade configuration

A new school for eighth and ninth graders, additional space at elementary buildings and upgraded technology are top priorities of an $81 million bond proposal on the ballot Tuesday, Nov. 5.

Superintendent Scott Smith said the district based initial bond work on projected enrollment growth of 1% over the next five years, but it’s expected to grow even more farther down the road.

“If we grow at a 2% track, by 2031 we’ll have almost 4,500 students, a thousand more students in just over 10 years,” Smith said. “We have to be thoughtful of that.”

The district’s last bond issue dates back to  2002, when voters made the decision to build a new middle school and renovate the high school and other buildings.

Impact on Property Taxes

If approved by voters, it is projected that the debt tax rate would increase by approximately 0.90 mills over the current debt tax rate. 

For a $100,000 market value home, this equates to an estimated increase of $45 per year, or $3.75 per month.

For a $200,000 market value home, $90 per year and a $300,000 home, $135.

“The state of Michigan went through a tough stretch economically. There was not a lot of growth, with the exception of a couple of districts from 2008 to 2011 or 12, it was a pretty slow time, and now we’re seeing that pick back up.”

The bond proposal, developed as part of a long-term master plan, addresses the highest priorities and focuses on three key areas:

Learning Environments

  • Construct a new eighth-ninth grade building, which would alleviate capacity issues at the high school and provide an age-appropriate transition from the middle school to the high school. The proposed 8/9 building would be located adjacent to the high school, where removing ninth grade students would alleviate capacity issues.
  • Demolish the existing 1960s academic wings at Beach and constructing new, modern classrooms
  • Relocate preschool and early childhood programming from Cedar Trails to Red Hawk to provide additional space for current kindergarten and first grade students and allow for future student population growth and alleviate current capacity issues. Improvements at Red Hawk would transform the existing sixth grade building to community education, early childhood education and district administration
  • Improvements at Cedar Springs Middle School would realign that building from seventh and eighth grade to sixth and seventh grade
  • Upgrade educational technology and classroom multimedia as needed

Building and Site Improvements

  • Upgrade mechanical systems and building management systems for energy efficiency
  • Invest in critical capital improvements – boilers, unit ventilators and roofing as needed

Safety and Security

  • Secure building entrances at schools that currently do not have them
  • Improve traffic flow, parking and sidewalks at select locations
Superintendent Scott Smith discusses the $81 million bond that proposes a new building housing eighth and ninth graders, among other renovations. The vote will be held on November 5

Proposed 8/9 Building

Smith said eighth and ninth graders would grow and thrive in this new learning environment.

“Eighth graders are bordering on that leap, maturity-wise, for that next level of development,” he explained. “This 8/9 concept is the best way for us to get prepared to address the current needs we have, but also to get prepared for what’s coming down the road.

“We would offer programming in both buildings. Our ninth graders will bounce back and forth throughout the day with access to all varsity athletic programming and extracurriculars.”

Smith said there’s been a little bit of resistance with this part of the proposal because an eighth and ninth grade grade configuration is unique. He countered with the fact that the district has kindergarten and first grade together at Cedar Trails Elementary School, “Who does K-1? Cedar Springs does, and we do it really well.”

‘More Breathing Room’

Space is a major theme of proposed improvements.

Smith said nearly 800 students and families are utilizing the Cedar Trails building. “It’s really crowded. Our proposal would allow us to pull that early childhood programming piece out and relocate all of those programs to Red Hawk Elementary School.”

Pulling the ninth graders out of the high school also alleviates crowding.

“This will give the high school room to breathe because they are currently maxed out,” Smith said. “There’s not enough classroom space, and not enough cafeteria and food service space.

“We must continue to adapt to enrollment and to the spaces that we have and the climate of our voters.”

CONNECT

More bond information

- Sponsorship -
Cris Greer
Cris Greer
For more than three decades, Cris Greer has been a wordsmith, working in the fields of journalism, advertising and marketing. Much of the past decade, he helped grow the MLive Statewide High School Sports desk as a supervisor, editor and reporter, which included eight newspapers in Michigan and mlive.com. Cris also was a freelancer for The Grand Rapids Press, The Advance and On the Town magazine for many years. A good portion of his early career was spent building and managing the copywriting team in the advertising department at Meijer, Inc., where he oversaw copywriting for print ads, mailers, brochures, signage, several dozen in-house magazines per year and much more.

LATEST ARTICLES

The sky’s the limit (or is it?) for this accomplished model builder

Creative, innovative, imaginative … Many of today’s students are all that and more in a vast variety of interest areas. This series features students with exceptional and unusual gifts...

For MLK Day, educators discuss improving equity in education

A leading advocate on equity in education says Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy requires educators to dig deeper into making sure all students have what they need to thrive...

Virtual job-shadow opportunities available

Groundhog Shadow Day, which gives area students an inside look at different careers, is going virtual this year...

‘Hope on the horizon’ as local teachers start getting COVID-19 vaccine

Lincoln School special education teacher, Ann Post believes there is 'hope on the horizon' for Kent ISD teachers and educators across Kent County after receiving her first round of the COVID-19 vaccine...

1 COMMENT

  1. I am happy with your bond proposal and improvements to the district so I definitely will vote in the affirmative for November 5th.
    But seriously why does the Cedar Springs school district / community not have a pool to be enjoyed by all students, staff and Cedar Springs residents both young and seniors.
    As a member of MVP , I enjoy their pool on a regular basis, also I see Rockford schools have a few aquatic facilities. I just was near Northview schools this morning and saw a sign for their pool.
    I have been a resident of Cedar Springs for over 20 years and a teacher for 31 years in GR Public Schools and 10 years in 5 overseas countries.
    There is never a discussion about an aquatic facility as far as I know. With your campus acreage, you definitely have room for another building or add on to an existing site.
    Sincerely,
    Ted Nykiel

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Related Articles

Cohorted specials usher in ‘a new kind of community’

Cedar Trails Elementary School’s “specials” teachers — art, music, physical education and literacy and technology — have joined forces to create an outdoor recreation program...

Schools in nine districts announce closures as COVID cases spike

New temporary school building closures were announced by nine school districts in Kent ISD this week, as schools contend with a sharp increase in COVID-19 cases in Kent County and Michigan...

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...
- 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