Timeline & Rationale Leading to this Bond Election
The Kent City Board of Education has been working on various aspects of the November 5 bond vote since late 2017.
In the spring of 2018, they commissioned a community survey to be undertaken to ascertain some of the views in our community regarding the need for facility improvements and upgrades.
Among other things, the survey tested whether people would be willing to support additional debt millage to complete these projects or whether they would prefer to support an extension of the current debt millage. Although both ideas had levels of support, more respondents indicated support for an extension of the current debt millage, which is 8.25 mills. At that time, it was calculated that extending our debt millage would generate approximately $13.2 million in additional revenues.
The Operations Committee of the board has been working with Progressive AE out of Grand Rapids since 2016 initially concerning getting cost information on the renovation and replacement of the science labs and science rooms at the high school.
When discovering that those projects were more costly than what could be supported by our sinking fund, the board decided to investigate the possibility of a millage vote in the spring of 2019 to ask for a bond proposal that would extend our current debt millage to complete many of the projects currently outlined in our bond proposal. However, upon reviewing additional data provided by our financial advisors, the board decided to delay the election for six months until November 2019 so that the 2019 taxable value number could be included in the equation for calculating the yield from extending the current debt millage.
With a 5.33% increase in taxable value this year, extending our current debt millage would now yield approximately $21.9 million for district projects.
Obviously, the additional dollars that would be generated have allowed us to go much further down our list of critical needs to include improvements and upgrades to additional areas across all our buildings.
Proposed Projects include:
Construction of new security entrances at Elementary, Middle School, and High School
- Would make building access available only by going through the main office area
Renovation of science lab and classrooms, and computer labs at High School
- Built in 1975, these classroom areas would be updated and modernized for teaching science and technology in 2020. The computer labs were originally labs for typing, these areas would be updated for use with current teaching technology and equipment.
Renovation of Band/Choir Rooms, Art Room and support spaces
- These areas are outdated and undersized given the number of students in the Band/Choir programs. Space would be reconfigured and updated to reflect current art instructional practices and student needs
Renovation of auditorium and support spaces
- Sound system, lighting, seating, stage, and curtain all beyond their useful life and would be replaced. This would reduce maintenance costs.
Renovation of building restrooms at the High School and Elementary
- Not all are handicap accessible. All need replacement
Replacement of boilers and system pumps at the High School and Elementary; HVAC Controls at all Buildings
- Replacement of boilers and building controls that have reached the end of their useful life. Increases energy efficiency and reduces maintenance costs.
Upgrades to instructional technology in all Buildings
- All building classrooms/labs have out of date technology
Replacement of exterior doors at the High School and Elementary
- Doors and frames are rusting, do not close properly, are not energy inefficient. Replacement would improve safety, security, and reduce maintenance costs
Replacement of band instruments
- Replacement of larger band equipment
Construction of new conference room for up to 50 occupants at Elementary
- Largest conference room presently at this building will only seat 8-10. This would provide for larger group meetings for both staff and parents.
Installation new unit ventilators with cooling at Elementary
- Existing unit ventilators are beyond their useful life. Replacement and adding cooling would provide consistent operating set points all school year. This would provide for a more energy efficient system and reduce maintenance costs.
Elementary Gymnasium renovation to include new ceiling, flooring, lighting, stage curtain, and necessary paint
- These finishes were not replaced in the past bond projects and are beyond their useful life. New synthetic all-purpose surface to replace damaged, bucked and worn wooden floor
Replacement of select playground equipment at Elementary
- To upgrade safety for students on our playgrounds.
- New all-purpose artificial surface for soccer, football, band, and other uses
- Additional bleachers on home and visitor sides along with relocated field lighting to align with new field layout. New press box
- New sidewalks and fencing to accommodate changes
- New 8-lane track to allow room for larger field inside track, new areas and designated space for field events.
- Construction of baseball/softball fields based on the reconfiguration of the Stadium.
- Parking lots have, or are reaching, the end of published useful life. They would be replaced on a prioritized basis with the allocated funds.
- Purchase of additional new buses to replace a portion of the aging fleet.
Replacement of pool roof
- Replacement of roof that has reached the end of its useful life
Replace existing rooftop units and floor-mounted Unit Ventilators at High School
- Many of the rooftop units and floor mounted unit ventilators are original to the building and are beyond their useful life. This would improve energy efficiency, controllability, and reduce maintenance costs
Replacement of well pressure tanks and water softeners at all Buildings
- Existing tanks and softeners have experienced problems and have reached the end of their useful life. This will provide consistent water pressure and quality for the buildings, allowing plumbing fixtures to operate consistently, and reduce maintenance costs.
New cafeteria tables
- Replacement of damaged and failed tables.
Generator and electrical system
- Provide a larger generator and modify the existing building electrical system for proper emergency power distribution
Replacement of original windows in portions of the building
- Improves energy efficiency and comfort.
Replacement of exhaust fans
- Replace non-operational or failing exhaust fans to ventilate and maintain proper building pressurization.
New cafeteria tables
- Replacement for damaged and failed tables.