GRPS pushing for $175 million bond to improve schools, technology, security

Posted at 6:15 PM, Sep 15, 2015
and last updated 2015-09-15 18:25:57-04

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – With less than two months until Election Day, Grand Rapids Public Schools officially kicked off its campaign for this year’s bond issue, pushing for school renovations.

GRPS Superintendent Teresa Weatherall Neal said their last bond issue on the ballet was not since 2004, and said it is time to ask taxpayers for help to improve schools.

On Nov. 3, voters will decide on this $175 million bond that is really a three-fold plan:

It would add modern technology into classrooms, renovate school facilities, and improve security. If passed, Weatherall Neal said the district will invest in every school.

“This is phase two: great schools need to have the bells and whistles,” said Weatherall Neal. “We need technology, we need our security, and we need all of our buildings to be retouched. With this bond proposal we will actually touch every single building in the Grand Rapids Public Schools, but we’re going to have a special focus on our high schools.”

In a GRPS video, the district highlighted some of its problem with older facilities, including things like security issues, with some school entrances placed far away from their main office, as well as crumbling buildings with peeling paint, drafty windows, and leaking roofs.

“It is necessary for children today to have access to great building, computers, everything that it takes for them to move into the future,” said Weatherall Neal. “I think we as community members, we should help them get there.”

In terms of cost if the bond passes, the average taxpayer (one who owns a $100,000 home) would pay $8.33 per month, totaling $99.96 annually.