Board votes to sell series II of bond issue

By: Maria Allard | Grosse Pointe Times | Published June 22, 2021

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GROSSE POINTES — At the June 14 Grosse Pointe Public Schools Board of Education meeting, the school board voted 7-0 to approve a resolution to sell series II of the district’s $111 million 2018 bond issue.

The  $111,040,000 bond issue, which passed in November 2018, is funding building enhancements, security improvements and technology updates throughout the district. A bond issue is a state-approved funding process for a group of planned projects that are not part of the general operating budget. A bond levies tax dollars in the community, which generates funding for the bond projects.

When voters approve a bond proposal, the school district sells bonds in the authorized amount and uses the proceeds of the sale to pay for those projects. Under Michigan law, bond money cannot be used to pay teacher or administrator salaries, for routine maintenance or repair costs, or for other school district operating expenses.

According to district documents, on Feb. 26, 2019, the Board of Education issued series I of the 2018 bonds in the principal amount of $65,760,000, of which $58,465,000 was issued to finance the projects authorized in the 2018 bond proposal. The 2019 bonds were sold with an original issue premium of $9,489,109.75, which is counted against the total bond authorization, according to the documents.

To complete the remainder of the bond program, the Board of Education was asked to approve the resolution to sell series II of the 2018 bonds in the aggregate, not to exceed the principal amount of $43,085,000. Miller Canfield, based in Detroit, drafted the resolution.

“This does sell the 100% of the remaining authorized bonds,” district Deputy Superintendent for Business Operations Amanda Matheson said.

The projects, some of which have been completed, include safety and security improvements, heating, ventilation and cooling systems, electrical upgrades, the replacement of roofs, and the installation of technology infrastructure.

“We are selling the full amount of bonds that we agreed to raise in 2018 regardless of the fact that we closed two schools. We felt this is still a critical-needs bond issue, not above and beyond,” Board Vice President Margaret Weertz said. “That’s why we are going for the full amount … just to be clear.”

Trombly Elementary School and Poupard Elementary School closed at the end of the 2019-2020 school year. The Trombly building is being used for preschool.

A list of bond projects and updates is available on the district’s website at www.gpschools.org.

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