The West Bloomfield Board of Education has voted to go forward with a comprehensive bond election on May 2, 2017. Residents of West Bloomfield Township will have the opportunity to vote to approve the bond on this day. WB Spectrum had the opportunity to interview Ms. Pamela Zajac, West Bloomfield School District Public Relations and Marketing Coordinator, about the proposal. The Bond proposal involves consolidating the two middle schools in the district, remodeling district facilities, and other further improvements to the district.
Could you briefly describe the new proposal for those who are not aware of it?
On May 2nd, residents living in the West Bloomfield School District will vote on a $120 million school bond proposal. If approved by voters, the bonds will be issued in two series, the first (for $49.9 million) in 2017 and the second (for $70.1 million) in 2020.
What are some of the benefits of the proposal if it passes?
The bond will provide funding to right-size, re-imagine, renovate, and refresh the school district. If approved by voters, the bond proposal will positively impact every WBSD student, school, and school facility and it will position the school district to serve current and future generations.There will be over 100 projects completed in 8 general areas:
Consolidate Abbott and Orchard Lake Middle Schools into a new 21st Century state of the art middle school.
Transform outdated spaces at WBHS to better accommodate STEAM, Project-Based Learning, Fine Arts, Career & Technical Education, Health & Wellness, and Athletics.
Add an auxiliary gym to WBHS and remodel fine arts facilities, the auditorium, the pool area, and restrooms.
Redesign elementary iCenters, common areas, and classrooms to create flexible learning spaces for student instruction.
Continue to improve school security and student safety.
Continue to upgrade and replace instructional technology.
Close the Administration and Community Services building and relocate WBSD Central Office to an existing school.
Replace school buses as they reach the end of their useful life.
Specifically, at the high school alone, we will remodel antiquated classroom space to accommodate Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math (STEAM) instruction. We will add an auxiliary gym, and remodel the auditorium, stage and its technology. The iCenter and fine arts instructional spaces will be improved and remodeled. Restrooms will also be remodeled and the pool filtration and pump components will be replaced.
What makes this plan different than any other previous proposals?
At this particular time, since we are retiring a previous bond, this bond will allow the community to make $120 million in educational improvements with a one-half mill reduction in the tax rate.
Is there any other important information voters should know before deciding?
A successful bond proposal will provide significant educational improvements that promise continued enhancement of the overall educational quality in the West Bloomfield School District. It’s common knowledge that real estate values tend to be higher in communities where school districts offer quality education programs and have up-to-date school facilities. Families seek out these districts when choosing a community to live and raise children in. Thus, these homes tend to have higher property values, benefiting everyone in the community.
For more information about the bond proposal, check out http://wbsd.org/Domain/1572! Remember to tell your parents to vote on May 2!