Attention Readers
In response to the coronavirus pandemic, C & G Newspapers has temporarily suspended its print publications. We look forward to resuming our print operation in the coming weeks. In the meantime, continue to find local news on our website and look for us on Facebook and Twitter. We hope you stay healthy and safe.
 Warren Woods Public Schools Deputy Superintendent Neil Cassabon stands inside the secure entryway at Pinewood Elementary School, one of many projects completed with funds from the 2017 $20.3 million bond. School officials are going out for another bond proposal, a $45.5 million bond initiative that will be on the May 5 ballot.

Warren Woods Public Schools Deputy Superintendent Neil Cassabon stands inside the secure entryway at Pinewood Elementary School, one of many projects completed with funds from the 2017 $20.3 million bond. School officials are going out for another bond proposal, a $45.5 million bond initiative that will be on the May 5 ballot.

File photo by Deb Jacques


WWPS to place bond proposal on May 5 ballot

By: Maria Allard | Warren Weekly | Published January 31, 2020

Advertisement

WARREN — Three years ago, Warren Woods Public Schools taxpayers approved a $20.3 million bond issue to fund a number of districtwide building enhancements and technology updates.

The majority of those projects have been completed, and now school officials are asking the community to support another bond. At the Jan. 27 WWPS Board of Education meeting, the board voted 6-0 to place a $45.5 million bond proposal on the May 5 ballot. Jere Green, the board president, was absent with notice from the meeting.

According to school officials, the proposal will provide revenue to continue work started when voters approved the 2017 bond issue. School officials are referring to the $20.3 million bond as “phase one” and the $45.5 million bond initiative as “phase two.” According to school officials, the 2020 bond proposal builds on the “phase one” work completed during the past three years.

In 2017, the school district identified improvements that totaled $90 million. According to school officials, the May 5 bond proposal, if passed, would generate $45.5 million in revenue, allowing the school district to continue addressing the $90 million in improvements identified in 2017. If voters approve the bond proposal, the projects would be done in different phases. The work would begin in the spring of 2021 and countinue through the fall of 2026.

“We are projecting this will be a zero increase for our residents. The debt millage is projected to remain at or below the number of mills levied in 2019,” WWPS Superintendent Stacey Denewith-Fici said in an email. “We are hoping residents see we have been, and continue to be, fiscally responsible and are not asking for a tax increase. Our multi-phase plan allows us to address our infrastructure needs without asking them to pay more.”

The 2020 bond proposal was developed after an in-depth facility study with construction and architectural specialists. To protect the community’s investment in its schools, the district’s strategic plan includes a process for ongoing evaluation and monitoring of all school facilities.

A bond is a state-approved financing process that funds capital projects. When a bond proposal is approved by the voters, the school district sells bonds in the authorized amount and uses the proceeds of the sale to pay for the bond projects. Bonds are usually paid back in 20-30 years.

If the bond proposal passes, the $45.5 million would be broken down into the following: Briarwood Elementary — $5.39 million; Pinewood Elementary — $2.97 million; Westwood Elementary — $5.42 million; Warren Woods Middle School — $8.18 million; Warren Woods Tower High School — $19.4 million; Enterprise High School — $2 million; the Education Center — $1.7 million; the transportation garage — $746,000 budget; and the former administrative service center on Schoenherr Road, just north of the Interstate 696 service drive — $25,000 budget.

If passed, the May 5 bond proposal would fund additional enhancements in school security and safety, further renovations of classrooms and athletic facilities, continuing upgrades of technology, and replacement items that have reached the end of their life expectancy, including roofs, lighting, flooring, furniture and buses.

All the projects in the May 5 bond proposal were reviewed and approved by the Michigan Department of Treasury. All renovations and upgrades must comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act, or ADA. Bond proposal funds cannot be used for employee salaries.

“In 2017, Warren Woods voters approved phase one of a comprehensive capital improvement plan,” Green said in a prepared statement. “We told the community that we would enhance our schools and upgrade technology across the school district, and we did exactly that. Now we are moving to (the) next phase of the work we started three years ago. Our goal is to once again deliver a reasonable bond proposal with all projects completed on time and within budget.”

A “yes” vote means a voter supports the proposal. A “no” vote means they oppose the bond initiative. If the bond issue does not pass, the bond projects cannot be addressed as proposed.

The polls will be open May 5 from 7 a.m. until 8 p.m. Absentee ballots will be available after March 21.

Information about the bond proposal, including a complete list of projects, can be found at www.warrenwoods.misd.net by clicking on “2020 School Election.” Residents with questions can call any WWPS school principal or contact Denewith-Fici at (586) 439-4417 or by email at sdenewith@mywwps.org.

Advertisement