Boards at each school explain upgrades if bond renewed

By: Terry Oparka | Troy Times | Published September 11, 2013

Officials say it won’t be one size fits all at schools in the Troy School District if voters approve a bond issue on the Nov. 5 ballot.

For the past seven years, voters in Troy have been assessed 4.95 mills to fund bonds for upgrades in the district, and that millage is expiring. This November, the district will ask voters to approve a seven-year, 4.7-mill levy, which would raise $125 million through the issue of bonds.

For the average Troy homeowner, based on a home with a taxable value of $97,092, a 4.7-mill annual levy would cost $456.

“It’s about needs and wants, not luxuries,” said Troy Superintendent Barbara Fowler.

She explained at the Sept. 3 Board of Education meeting that informational boards at each school will give specifics about what would happen at each school if the bond passes. There will also be a podcast about the proposed bond shown at every welcome event at each school.

The proposed upgrades include security modifications at all buildings, reconfiguration to accommodate smoother traffic flows, expansion of the gym at Smith Middle School, acoustical improvements to music classrooms at Troy High School, upgrades to restrooms at Athens High School, and converting a pool at the International Academy-East into instructional space.

If approved, the bond would also fund new buses.

Enhancements to security would involve replacement of exterior doors on buildings throughout the district, in some cases expanding the vestibules, and buzzer systems and remodeling the front office areas.

Technology would be updated, including servers and computers, and the heating and air conditioning systems would be replaced or improved.

Information on the bond issue will be available at www.troy.k12., which features a question-and-answer portion. The website will also include a section with a list of all school buildings and the years they were constructed. 

“We looked at other bond campaigns to see what comes up,” Kerry Birmingham, community and media relations director for the Troy School District, said at the board workshop Aug. 6 of the questions featured on the website. She said that specific fliers outlining upgrades specific to each school will also be available at each school. 

The Facilities Study Team, comprised of volunteers who evaluated all buildings in the district in early 2012, suggested the proposed upgrades.

Information nights on the proposed bond issue will be scheduled in coming weeks.