This Morning: Grand Ledge school officials ask voters to approve nearly $150M in bonds


Grand Ledge School officials are asking voters to approve nearly $150M in bonds one week from today.

There are two different bonds that will appear on the ballot.

School officials say the money will help improve several ongoing issues inside the buildings like upgrades to the electric and plumbing systems.

“We have leaks where water’s coming into the building, we have heating and cooling issues, we’ve got a high school that has had extreme highs and lows in temperatures,” says Grand Ledge Superintendent, Brian Metcalf.

It’s issues like these Metcalf says he’s hoping to fix, but he needs the help of nearly $150M in bonds to do it.

“We have about 53 hundred students in this district, we have 7 very large buildings and we want to make sure that those buildings are conducive to learning,” says Metcalf.

Metcalf says the district asked community members through focus groups and a survey what they wanted to see change.

The result now lies in two bond proposals that will be on the November ballot for Grand Ledge residents.

The first would provide $118,640,000 for school improvements, making the schools smarter, stronger, and safer.

It would move kindergartners from the Neff center back into their local elementary’s. 

It would also create an intermediate school for 5th and 6th graders.

It would replace old equipment, like the roof of the high school, an old air compressor, and a hard water filter that are overdue for retirement.

In addition Proposal 1 will add extra security, including video cameras, to school entrances.

For more on what Proposal 1 will do, click here.

The second proposal would provide $29,485,000 for community, athletics and fine arts.

Developing a community pool, weight room, and walking track.

All things Metcalf says community members mentioned that they wanted available to them.

For more on what Proposal 2 will do, click here.

But all of the improvements come with a hefty price tag for Grand Ledge taxpayers.

Those who own a $100-thousand home would pay an increased cost of $72 a year over the prior year if both proposals pass.

However according to Metcalf, the district would still have one of the lowest tax millages in the region, a vote he says is worth it.

“These buildings are going to be here for a long time, our programs are going to continue to improve for a long time, and we want to make sure that their children and their grandchildren have great opportunities and that’s what this bond is about,” says Metcalf.

The Grand Ledge District has had trouble passing bonds in the past.

6-News spoke to a few voters planning to vote no on these proposals.

They say the price tag is too high and the district continues to ask for more and more money from residents.

For more FAQs on the 2018 bond proposals, click here.

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