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New school bond proposal and public forums

New school bond proposal and public forums

Bond proposal will not increase current school taxes

From Cedar Springs Public Schools

Cedar Springs Public Schools is listening to its community partners. After voters did not approve the November 2019 bond proposal, the District engaged community members, staff and parents in multiple surveys and forums to gather feedback on the previous proposal. The District carefully reviewed the data collected and studied options to move forward with an updated long-term master plan for school buildings. The result was a smaller proposal with no tax rate increase expected.

Looking to the future of Cedar Springs Public Schools, the Board of Education is asking the community to vote on a school bond proposal in an election to be held on May 5, 2020. Rather than increasing taxes, the District is asking residents to approve an extension of the current tax levy of 7.0 mils for an additional 18 years. 

If voters approve the bond proposal, there would be NO TAX RATE INCREASE expected for property owners. This bond would generate $68,000,000 for district-wide improvements to all school buildings and would impact every student. The cost of the new proposal is 16 percent less than the plan from November 2019.

Here is how the money will be used if the bond passes:

*Safety and security at each of our buildings will be enhanced if this proposal passes in May. The District will construct secure building entrances at schools that currently do not have them. It will also make improvements to the traffic flow, parking, and sidewalks at select locations on campus for safety and increased circulation of people and vehicles.

*The proposal on the ballot allows the District to invest in capital improvements needed in each building. Work will include the replacement of boilers, unit ventilators, roofing, and carpeting as needed, to extend the useful life of facilities. It will also provide energy efficient climate-control systems for each classroom to keep those spaces cool when it is hot outside and warm when it is cold outside.

*Overcrowding at the High School would be addressed through an addition of 12 classrooms and other support spaces, with no new 8th and 9th grade building. The existing 1960s academic wings at Beach would be replaced with new classrooms, as they have outlived their useful lives. 

*Lastly, the District would use bond funds to replace outdated educational technology.

While the District does not have a plan for the Hilltop Administration Building, it is committed to be creative in its efforts to find a cost-effective solution for that building that adds value to the District and the community.

To learn more about the upcoming bond proposal, please attend one of their upcoming community forums, visit the CSPS website at www.csredhawks.org, or email Scott Smith, Superintendent of Schools directly at scott.smith@csredhawks.org .

The Community Forum Schedule is March 18, 19, and 25 at 6:45 p.m. and April 14, 15, and 20 at 6:45 p.m. at the Cedar Springs High School library.

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Ray Winnie
Kent County Credit Union


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