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Voters on May 5 to decide no-increase $13.9 million bond request

Godwin Heights Public Schools will ask voters on May 5 to vote on a bond that, if approved, would bring in $13.9 million for structural, technological and transportation upgrades.

The proposed bond would not increase taxes. Rather, it would extend the current millage rate and constitute the second phase of a vision that started with a bond proposal approved by voters in 2015. That proposal resulted in main office renovations, a new auxiliary gym at the high school, and astroturf installation at the stadium, among other improvements.

“This is not going to be one that will have a lot of flashy new stuff to it,” Superintendent William Fetterhoff said of the proposed bond. “While the improvements would not be as noticeable as others we’ve made, they will enhance the longevity of our district for the whole community.”

The proposal includes:

  • roof integrity assessments for buildings and some repairs, based on the results
  • replacement of exterior doors, windows and carpeting in buildings
  • heating and cooling control upgrade
  • a new boiler at South Godwin
  • middle school restroom and locker room renovations
  • upgrades and seating additions in the high school cafeteria and common areas
  • replacement of the stadium track, wall and fence, and baseball field and dugout renovations
  • three new buses and two passenger vans for the transportation department
  • new band instruments
  • technology upgrades for student devices

Some of the proposed enhancements, like new windows and HVAC controls, will ultimately save on energy costs, Fetterhoff said. The district shared the plans over a series of four community forums in February.

The novel coronavirus pandemic has prompted some districts to cancel their May 5 ballot requests. Michigan’s current plan will give voters with May 5 elections the option to go to the polls, but Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson said absentee ballot applications will be mailed to all voters in an attempt to encourage absentee voting in the interest of public health.

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Bridie Bereza
Bridie Bereza
Bridie Bereza hails from Lansing and has worked in the Grand Rapids area as a reporter, freelance writer, and communicator since graduating from Aquinas College in 2003. She feels privileged to cover West Michigan's public schools and hopes to shed a little light on the amazing things happening there through her reporting.

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