ALLEGAN, Mich. — Tuesday was Election Day for many counties throughout West Michigan, and many of those ballots include both municipalities and school districts proposals up for consideration.
Allegan County Public Schools asked voters to approve an $87.55 million bond but with no tax rate increase above the district's 2020 debt levy.
If approved, the bond would fund district-wide facility upgrades.
"Any student would have something in this bond proposal that would benefit them at Allegan Public Schools," said Allegan Public Schools Superintendent James Antoine.
Antoine said it's the same millage rate residents have been paying for decades.
"It will impact all students in the district with various infrastructure and classroom improvements from athletics to auditorium improvements to classroom refreshes, modern learning environments and furniture," said Antoine.
If approved, the majority of that bond would go towards construction of an elementary learning community for K thru 5th grade.
The district has estimated the cost of construction to total around $56.7 million. Other parts of the bond would go towards school environment.
"There is a lot of aspects of this bond which would be about health, safety and security. This includes secure vestibules, security cameras and new H-VAC, boilers, chillers and things that would improve the overall environmental aspect of our schools," said Antoine.
Other key projects include:
- Renovations and updates to the High School
- Renovations and updates to the Middle School
- Construction of a new Elementary School for all students grades Kindergarten – Fifth
- Infrastructure and safety updates at the Early Childhood Center
- Infrastructure updates at the Transportation Building, Administration Building and Fieldhouse
In Kalamazoo County, Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson visited a polling location where it had only seen 20 people as of lunch time.
Benson said even though it's not a big election year, voting is just as important.
"Every time you have an opportunity to vote in an election, it just creates engagement. It lets leaders know at every level that you are engaged, that you are watching them and that you are going to hold them accountable even in a local election. Then a lot of the issues on the ballot in local elections are really important in the day-to-day lives of kids in school districts, in regards to a millage, or the leaders of a school board," said the Secretary of State of Michigan Jocelyn Benson.
That included Allegan County where the bond proposal is part of a three series bond which goes through the 2025 school year for construction pieces.
The duration of the debt millage is 25 years.
"We are not asking the voters for anything additional that they have already agreed to in past bond proposals for the school. Allegan’s community has always been supportive of the school district. It is a wonderful community to live in and work in. I am hopeful that they will continue to support the schools in this way," said Antoine.
Also on the Allegan County ballot are three other bond proposals and a millage renewal for school districts as well as a millage renewal for a transportation authority.
Polling locations are open until 8 p.m. on Tuesday.
For more information on what is included in the Allegan Public Schools 2021 Bond Proposal, click here.