GUEST EDITORIAL: CHSD proposes bond to focus on student education

Shirley Howard

Shirley Howard

Submitted by Shirley Howard
CHSD Superintendent

In a school district, bonds can only be refinanced at a certain time. For Chippewa Hills, that time became available during the 2014-15 school year.

This created an opportunity to not only lower our interest rate, but also really look at the needs of the district. What could be accomplished if the millage rate was kept at 2.68 for the next 20 years?

Bonding funds can only be used for certain things including improvements in facilities, new construction, purchasing new buses and additional technology. Funds cannot be used for wages or benefits of employees.

With this in mind, the bonding proposal that is on the May 5, ballot provides the district with the means to enhance and improve our school system. First and foremost will be enhancements to the security and safety of our buildings, a concern that has certainly grown over the last few years.

Over the 20 years of this proposal, 31 new buses will be purchased to replace our aging bus fleet which travels approximately 3,000 miles each day. Improvements to our facilities you may not see include roofs, mechanical and heating replacements. Those you will see include improvements to our auditorium, athletic complex, new carpeting and furniture.

We are in the technological age and new technology will be purchased to ensure our students are not left behind. In 2019, additions will be added to the Mecosta and Weidman schools and a new elementary school constructed in Barryton. This will allow fifth graders to return to the elementary setting and relieve the overcrowding we now have at our intermediate school.

This proposal is broken into two phases. The first phase would have most of the projects completed by the end of the summer of 2016. The second phase would begin in 2019.

A detailed list of what will occur in each phase can be found on the district website at chsd.us. Everything listed will be accomplished by keeping the millage rate of 2.68 for the next 20 years.

Having been blessed to be part of the Chippewa Hills School District for the past 42 years and your superintendent for the last eight years, I would welcome the opportunity to speak to you personally regarding the bond issue. You may reach me at my office at (989) 967-2000 or (989) 644-3430. It may be easier to reach me in the evening at my home (989) 644-3430 or on my cell (989) 621-4249. Please remember to vote on May 5 at the same location where you vote in state and national elections.

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Posted by Katlyn Vuillemot

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