This is not an official blog of the City. It is the work of Mark Kapel who is solely responsible for content.

Search This Blog

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Bloomfield Hills School Board Meeting Feb 16

The Bloomfield Hills School Board Bottom Line? A bond issue of $58,655.000 to be paid in 26 years , and be to be decided in less than 90 days in a Tuesday May 8 election .

School Superintendent Robert Glass made the presentation and the School Board Supported it by a 7 to 0 vote.
The original Fielding Nair schematic presented on October 18th 2011 asked for $65 million for a hybrid 36% remodel and 64% new construction High School. There were various modular options which could boost the total as high as a $100 million. Advocates of the hybrid high school solution likened it to buying a car.
At the recent School Board Meeting, salesman Glass “went in the backroom” and returned with what he said was the best value for the money. The basics, plus the options most people said they wanted and a few more things thrown in for 7 million less than the originally quoted price. How did he do it? Well the window sticker will say $78,650.000 but drive away price will be $58,650,000. $20,000,000 come from the school’s Capital Improvement fund ($11million) and Co-circular Fund ($13.8). That would leave approximate 5 million cash reserves which should maintain the school’s Triple A bond rating.

The popular Athletic Upgrade which included a new gym that would seat the entire student body and an enhanced Swimming pool /Diving facility was included. Those features could produce revenue by hosting regional competitions. Glass said both enhancement would also allow for continued use by community members. If the old pool and gym were retained the doubled student enrollment would prohibit public use.
A 1,000 seat auditoriums, new academic wing, an enhanced student broadcast facility were included in the $58 million. Passage would also mean an operational cost savings of 2.4 million annually.
Should the bond issue fail, Glass promised no annual millage repeat . An estimated $35 in deferred maintenance however would be required to keep the old Lahser and Andover facilities functioning. In addition some programs might be cut.
The reaction to the audience was mostly positive. 1975 Lahser high school grad Elizabeth Steig ,and parent of district school children said it was her turn to pay the 40 cents a day the bond issue would cost her family.
School Board Member Joan Berndt, quoting President Roosevelt after Pearl Harbor said, “We have a roundez vous with destiny,” and added that she was 100% in favor of the bond issue.
Isabella Tucci who brought her “20/20 recall the board” yard sign to the meeting offered a different opinion. She thought smaller schools were the preferable to mega schools . Students could get more attention and increased supervision could prevent things like drug use. Ms. Tucci’s sign had a sticker on it saying Vote May 8th.
The May election date was chosen by Superintendent Glass to provide closure on the divisive issue before the end of the current school year and to provide new high school enrollment in the fall of 2015.
20/20 supporters have called the May election a “Stealth Election.”
How can it be a “Stealth Election” when everybody knows about it? One school board supporter asked.

No comments: