Lansing school board members received an update Nov. 4 on a potential $130 million bond proposal that could go before voters in May.
The proposal would continue a property tax that is set to expire, so advocates say taxpayers would not see an increase in what they now pay.
“We have been working very hard on preparing a proposal for a potential bond to submit to the treasury so we can get it on the ballot in May,” school board Treasurer Nathan Burroughs said “This is a really important moment to have the resources to make some major investments in the district to really bring a lot of our buildings and facilities up to date. The bond is dedicated almost exclusively to capital projects, so its buildings and infrastructure.”
District officials and consultants said they’ve completed their work to study building needs across the district.
“In 2015, there was an assessment completed of the needs of the district and it was assessed at about $340 million of need across the district,” said Amy Scoby Baumer, vice president of the Christman Co., which is the construction company for the Lansing School District. “In 2016, there was a bond proposal that was supported by the voters that generated $120 million to address the greatest needs.”
In 2018, there was a second assessment and $244 million of need was identified.
While a previous 2016 bond led to improvements at many schools throughout the district, there are 15 school buildings that did not receive significant renovation or additions.
The district is looking to completely rebuild four schools: Mt. Hope STEM Magnet School, Willow Elementary, Cumberland Elementary and Woodcreek Montessori Academy.
The Mt. Hope school building, which was built in the 1940s, is deemed by the district to be in poor condition, with exterior masonry issues and accessibility issues for people with disabilities to access the front door.
“What we want the community to know is that we hope they see it in their hearts to help support us as we rebuild buildings to be modern, new, safe and focused on kids and learning,” Superintendent Ben Shuldiner said. “We want them to know that their money will be well spent. That money will go towards kids and creating a better learning environment.”