JACKSON, Mich. (WLNS) — Northwest Community Schools in Jackson County is asking voters to reconsider its $24.9 million bond proposal after it failed by a slim margin in the May election.
6 News has a look at what the district is doing for its second chance.
When Northwest lost its bond proposal by just 82 votes, it was a big shock to supporters.
“I was very disappointed,” said Brad Wait, a school board member and district parent.
Wait says after the proposal failed, they heard from people who supported the bond but didn’t vote.
“People who thought they didn’t do as much as they should have,” Wait said.
That inspired the district to try again, putting the $24.9 million bond proposal on the Aug. 7 ballot.
Wait and other volunteers are now ramping up efforts by knocking on doors, getting information to voters, and putting up signs.
“I think it’s been overwhelmingly popular,” Wait said.
If it passes, the majority of money raised will go to add new classrooms and reconfigure outdated spaces.
Athletic facilities, parking lots, and security will also get upgrades.
“We have a growing population, especially at the elementary level,” Wait said.
The district says the growth is coming from more families moving into the area and not from school of choice.
While they have been getting lots of support from the community, school officials realize not everyone will be voting yes.
Northwest resident Wanda Beacham says she’s seen signs that are against the proposal popping up in the district.
“They think all the schools want is more money, that they don’t need it,” Beacham said.
Several people who are voting no did not want to speak on camera.
However, they expressed concern about taxes going up, and say they’re upset the proposal is appearing on the ballot a second time.
“I feel the same way. I don’t like the idea of higher taxes. But we do have to take care of our young people,” Beacham said.
If the millage passes, a taxpayer with a home worth $120,000 will pay an extra $114 a year.
Because this is a suburban and rural area, Wait says schools also serve as community centers.
So he hopes voters see this is an investment in their community.
“This is just going to keep us building in the right direction,” Wait said.