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School officials lay plans for bond money

November 17, 2010 - Campaigning for the school district's bond election will begin this week while dollar signs and priorities are still being worked out.

So far, the $25.5 million in proposed money is slated for safety/security ($2.3 million), updated technology ($14.9 million), new buses ($3.1 million), building refurbishing ($2.3 million) and miscellaneous fees/expenses ($2.9 million).

Each school will get a standard package of improvements including roof repair, securer entrances and new technology.

New school entrances will essentially require visitors to be cleared by the main office before getting into a school.

"Some buildings are built with a very easy way to provide another set of doors for someone to be buzzed through. Others are not," said Jillynn Keppler, assistant superintendent of administrative services noting that not every school's entrance will look the same.

According to Keppler, each of the districts' buildings require a degree of repair work on the roof – some more than others.

Preliminary dollar allotment for the schools include $1.04 million for Paint Creek, $1.34 million for Pine Tree, $1.44 million for Stadium Drive, $2 million for Scripps and $1.73 million for Waldon.

In addition to the usual work, Blanche Sims will need some electrical remodeling to get everything up-to-date for new technology. The building is allotted $1.15 million. At Carpenter, the student drop-off area has been an area of concern for years and reconfiguring it will take some bond funds. It will receive around $1.44 million for improvements.

Orion Oaks needs a completely new roof as well as some mechanical piping upgrades and will get $1.76 million. Webber needs a stairwell from the lower parking lot to the school entrance – something the building doesn't have now – and new toilet and plumbing fixtures. The school is allotted $1.22 million.

Oakview is slated to get some lighting for the rear parking lot and is slated for $1.46 million. At the high school, the stairs up to the baseball fields are under constant strain from erosion and need an overhaul. Its allotment is $5.41 million.

Other buildings in the district, like the old bus garage and the administration building, will need some repairs as well.

Bringing the total budget to around $25.6 million is a $3.3 million allotment for new buses and minor remodeling in the bus garage.

Going for the $25.5 million bond will mean a millage increase of 1.75 mills, according to school officials. The current levy on tax payers for schools is 7.491.

A mill is the equivalent of $1 per $1,000 of taxable value. So, for example, if a home's taxable value is $100,000, passing the bond would equate to a $175 tax increase.

Feb. 22, 2011 is set as the election date, with campaigning starting Nov. 16.

Reporter, Lake Orion Review
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