Eastpointe Community Schools places bond proposal on ballot

By: Maria Allard | Roseville-Eastpointe Eastsider | Published May 20, 2023

 Eastpointe Community Schools has placed a $36.4 million bond proposal on the Aug. 8 ballot. If the bond passes, it will generate funds for building improvements across the district, including at Eastpointe High School.

Eastpointe Community Schools has placed a $36.4 million bond proposal on the Aug. 8 ballot. If the bond passes, it will generate funds for building improvements across the district, including at Eastpointe High School.

Photo by Erin Sanchez


EASTPOINTE — Residents of  the Eastpointe Community Schools district are asked to go to the polls Aug. 8 to vote on a $36.4 million bond proposal.

At the May 8 Board of Education meeting, the school board voted 6-1 to place the bond initiative on the ballot. Board Trustee Mary Hall-Rayford voted against the measure. At the board table and in a follow-up email, Hall-Rayford did not comment on her decision to vote no.

A bond proposal is developed by the school district and presented to the voters for approval. When a bond proposal passes, the bonds are sold in the capital markets at a date determined by the district, a financial adviser and an underwriter. Upon closing, funds generated from the bond sale are deposited in the district’s construction fund and are available to spend for completion of the projects contemplated in the bond proposal.

If Eastpointe’s bond passes, it will generate funding to pay for improvements to school facilities across the district. According to school officials, the bond proposal is part one of an overall plan to address student needs at every grade level. The current tax rate is 3.5 mills. This bond is replacing maturing bond debt.

“A successful bond program would help our school district provide facilities that support and enhance our educational programs and help us continue to meet the learning needs of all students,” Board President Jon Gruenberg said. “It is yet another step towards strengthening community pride in this school district and giving the children of Eastpointe the schools they deserve.”

According to school officials, if the bond passes the district will extend the current tax rate for the entirety of the bond, which will not require any tax rate increase to complete the projects.

“The bond proposal is a direct result of our strategic planning process and our commitment to continually improving the curriculum and learning environments,” Superintendent Christina Gibson said. “It is designed to meet the educational needs of all Eastpointe Community Schools’ students and move our district forward.”

According to Gibson, state and federal funding has already been used to update safety measures districtwide. Investments also were made to upgrade the school’s media centers with new furniture, books and equipment. Other exterior and interior improvements include flooring replacements, the addition of exterior canopies, new signage, and the removal of asbestos at the district’s four elementary schools and the Early Learning Center.

“The bond proposal will allow us to continue to work throughout the school district. For example, the bond proposal will allow us to add another layer of security at all schools by updating security cameras and interior door locks, improving exterior lighting, and adding emergency communication systems at all school facilities,” Gibson said. “This proposal will also enable us to construct secure main entrances at both the middle school and high school.”

With preschool and early elementary enrollment projected to double in the next five years, an approved bond issue will include updates to the Early Learning Center and elementary facilities.

Projects at Eastpointe Middle School would include creating a secure main entry, instructional technology upgrades, replacing select sidewalks and roofing, and more.

Several projects at Eastpointe High School would include creating a secure main entry; upgrading door locks, security cameras and exterior lighting; upgrading instructional technology; restroom renovations; the renovation of the culinary arts space; pool equipment upgrades; and more.

The district’s architects are Partners in Architecture, in Mount Clemens, and the construction manager is Barton Malow in Southfield. If passed, the bond will be for 25 years.

Eastpointe voters last approved a bond issue in 2009. The cost was for $23 million and focused on needs at the secondary level. In 2019, Eastpointe voters passed a 3-mill sinking fund millage that funded maintenance and minor renovations across the district.

The voting polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Aug. 8. Residents can vote by absentee ballot after June 29 through Aug. 8. To obtain an absentee ballot application, call the Clerk’s Office or visit www.michigan.gov/vote and click on “absentee voting” in the left column.

Information about the proposal is available on the school district’s website at www.eastpointeschools.org. Click on the school bond info link, which includes a list of projects by school building. Questions about the bond can be directed to Gibson at christina.gibson@eastpointeschools.org.