Mason to decide on $69.7 million school bond

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Mason Board of Education members discussing the 2017 school bond proposal.

Commemorating a year of research improving the 2016 proposal, The Mason School Board will ask voters Nov. 7 to approve a $69.7 million bond proposal. The money is needed for building updates, safety and technology, said Superintendent Ronald Drzewicki.

The proposal strives for stronger, smarter and safer schools and the district uses this motto to promote the bond.  If the issue passes, all schools will receive infrastructure upgrades which includes improvements to the mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems. The classrooms will be expanded and improved to support more instructional purposes. Secure entrances will be added and elementary sites will be reorganized to regulate traffic and improve parking problems. The aging buses will be replaced. The district also will receive technological improvements over the next seven years.

At a community meeting in Steele Elementary, the district provided information on the bond proposal as well as a question and answer panel with the school board.

Ted Moore, a local resident in Mason and president of Moore Trosper Construction Company, said he supports the proposal and that it is a great investment because strong schools make strong communities.

“I think the proposal meets the needs of the community. It’s about the kids and the community,” said Moore. “All communities should look at the schools and their children because that is where it all starts.”

School Board Member Steve Duane, had a lot to say on the benefits.

“I think the biggest benefit is going to be getting proper classrooms for our students,” said Duane. “We are expanding the space for our youngest learners who are kind of crammed in right now in a smaller area and they need more room to have more specialized stations throughout the day to really advance their early learning and get them hands-on.”

According to Daune, it does not work for a 6-year-old child to sit all day. They must be moving and get out of their seats.

“For the upper elementary students, we are not going to really change the classroom sizes but we will refresh the rooms and improve their layouts and furnishings and also improve things like the cabinetry in the rooms, too, and get them better spaces and better storage options; things that really wind up better with how they learn nowadays.” “They do a lot more learning at computers, all of their testing takes place on computers, so we work them with computers more often throughout the year so they are used to that.”

Andrew Dobias, a district resident and Michigan State football operations staff member, expressed concerns with the proposal.

“I would probably not vote for the bond because it just raises taxes, and Mason Schools to me are not that bad,” said Dobias. “Their facilities are nice already, and they just recently redid a bunch of stuff. Their soccer field, pool, football field are all redone. There does not seem to be that much of a demand for new things.”

The deadline to register to vote is Oct. 10. For more details regarding the proposal, visit the bond information page on the district website.

  • moose2271

    With all due respect to the people supporting this proposal, it falls way short of making the best use of current building assets. In addition, this bond shows very poor fiduciary responsibility while not planning for the future. I have also not seen it mentioned the board president chose the architect and construction company for this project unilaterally, without putting it out for bid. Given the past issues in his work history, brought up at the time of his hiring, at minimum his actions need to be heavily scrutinized, and maybe investigated, as to the reasons and consequences. There is another option, of which any mention has been suppressed by the administration, that will cost an estimated 2/3 to 3/4 less than this bond proposal. It would adequately address the overcrowding situation, provide room for more students in the future and be much better for the community as a whole.