Canton Board of Trustees uphold $114 million school bond

Apr. 11, 2013  PLYMOUTH EAGLE.

 

Superintendent explains May 7 school bond vote

As the May 7 election date draws near, efforts to educate the public about the $114 million bond request from the Plymouth- Canton Community School District are picking up steam.

The citizen’s committee promoting the bond hosted a formal kick-off party last week and District Superintendent Jeremy Hughes visited the Canton Township Board of Trustees to give a bond presentation, saying how important it is for the school district to keep members of all the communities it serves informed.

The schools are asking for $114 million to construct a new middle school in Canton, upgrade technology throughout the district, make building improvements and replace its aging bus fleet. If approved, the bond will not result in a tax increase but would sustain the 4.1 mills current levied by the schools.

“This will not result in an increased tax rate,” said Hughes.

The bond will include $35 million for upgrades to district buildings, $37.3 million to construct the new middle school-which will replace Central Middle School in Plymouth, which the district would then close-as well as 23.9 million for technology and 15.6 million for buses.

The new middle school would be constructed on land the district purchased in Canton to site a new school, located on Cherry Hill Road west of Canton Center Road. The new school is important because Central is no longer a viable school due to its age and maintenance issues. It should be constructed in Canton, Hughes said, because about 75 percent of the district middle school students live in Canton. Sixty-two percent of the students at Central are Canton residents.

The remaining middle schools would receive additions or renovations that would better support the district Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) curriculum, providing dedication computer labs for the program. Every other building in the district would receive enhancements, too.

The technology portion of the district would provide digital computing devices to every student in the district to support the 1:1 initiative. The devices, similar to electronic textbooks, are becoming the standard in public education. The Livonia and Northville School Districts have also asked residents to approve bonds to fund technology improvements. It would also fund a high speed fiber optic network that would serve the district.

Canton Trustee Tom Yack lauded Hughes for the decision to close Central Middle School. A former school board member himself, Yack provided a historical context on the millions spent on maintenance to the school back in the 1980s. Now, he said, it simply doesn’t serve the students or staff as well as the other district middle schools.

“It’s archaic and it does not provide the equity in education we want for our students,” he said.

Trustee Steven Sneideman, who also served on the school board prior to his election in Canton, agreed. He said to be competitive the school district needed to keep class size low.

Yack and Trustee Pat Williams have since endorsed the bond through social media. The Plymouth Chamber of Commerce has endorsed it, as well.

The last day to register for the May 7 election is April 8.

|News Plymouth Michigan

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