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Board, band boosters OK five-year $40K deal for new uniforms

August 28, 2013 - Goodrich- Next year the marching Martians will be stepping into a new look.

By a 6-0 vote on Monday night, the school board voted to OK $40,000 for 120 band uniforms for the high school students. Board president David Cramer was absent.

The board approved funding the new uniforms after band booster members agreed to a repayment plan to the district of $20,000 over five years. The first payment of approximately $4,000 will be due this fall payable after the football season.

Members of the band boosters, along with Aaron Orkisz, director of bands at the high school, have been working at replacing the existing 16-year-old uniforms for the current 86 student band members for more than a year.

"The life span of a uniform is typically six to eight years because of wear and tear and dry cleaning," said Orkisz. "The new uniforms will speak better to the members of the ensemble. I believe they will enjoy wearing the uniforms more. It's a huge purchase and I am excited about the design, which is much more modern and contemporary."

"They are costly," said Linda Jackson, school board trustee. "We don't have any other school uniform that's 16-years-old and still in use. The football uniforms are not that old."

Tim Zirnhelt, board trustee, also supported the decision.

"The current uniforms have been around for a long time and have been very well taken care of," he said.

The cost per uniform is expected to be around $330 with the band ordering around 120 uniforms to accommodate the size of the band along with fitting a variety of students. The hats will remain the same; however, new plumes will be purchased for the tops.

Bids were submitted for the new uniforms and Walker, Michigan-based Orefice, Ltd. was selected for the purchase.

Jeff Gardner, school board vice-president, supported the decision.

"At 16-years-old the band uniforms are outdated," he said. "The band is going to be around and with 86 kids this year is only going to grow. The boosters stepped up when they agreed to pay half the cost over five years."

The boosters currently operate the concessions at the football games, which funds several of their projects including scholarships.

"We're putting kids first. This school year the Schools of Choice numbers are up at 101 enrolled," he added. "While the agreement with the boosters is the first of its kind for the district, it is documented and is a win-win situation."

Jana Waters of the boosters said once the marching band season is over the old uniforms will be sold for a minimum of $100 each. Details: 810-636-3168.

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