School Bond Proposal

On May 8th, 2018, Meridian Public School District voters will be asked to approve a 25 year Bond Proposal (1.18 mills) which raises 20.33 million dollars for facility and site improvements, technology and transportation. Studies have shown that these types of improvements will have an immediate impact on student outcomes, by improving our learning and performance environments.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can the Bond pay for employee salaries?

No. By law, expenditure of bond proceeds cannot be used for any salaries or for day to day operating expenses.

Has the Board of Education taken advantage of the historically low interest rates to save the taxpayers money?

The Board of Education refunded the 2000 Bonds in 2014 saving taxpayers $269,326 in interest. The 2006 Bonds were refunded in 2015 and the interest saved was $1,234,374. The total interest savings for both was $1,503,700.

What are the primary needs being addressed by this bond issue?

Meridian Elementary School

  • The portable classrooms will be eliminated and replaced by the addition of four classrooms designed for 21st Century learning attached to the existing building. This will improve our safety and security features for our students and staff
  • Renovations to the 1959 and 1988 classrooms will take place. These updates will include acoustical ceilings, casework, and energy efficient windows
  • The gymnasium will have the floor resurfaced and acoustical improvements
  • Student lockers will be replaced throughout the building
  • An electrical upgrade will take place in the older sections of the building
  • Restroom renovations
  • The office will be renovated
  • Upgrade safety and security video surveillance systems

Sanford Early Childhood Center

  • The playground drainage will be addressed and a fence will be installed for security purposes
  • Classroom and office renovations will take place
  • New energy efficient boilers will be installed
  • Upgrade safety and security video surveillance

Meridian Junior High School

  • Under the leadership of Matt Shephard, the band program at Meridian Public Schools has had tremendous growth over the last decade. As a result, the space at Meridian Junior High school has become very crowded. The current classroom was designed for classes of less than 50 students. Class sizes today exceed 80 students. The current bus garage, which is attached to the Jr. High School will be renovated to become the new Junior High band room. This enhances the learning environment in the classrooms in the vicinity of the current band room by significantly reducing the noise created by the band.
  • Ventilation system in the Industrial Arts Classroom
  • Upgrade safety and security video surveillance
  • Upgrade PA system to enhance safety and security in the building

Meridian High School

  • An auditorium will be constructed that will be used for several activities such as: band concerts, school plays, student presentations, guest speakers, community events, professional development and student assemblies.
  • A multi-purpose building will provide space for wrestling, cheerleading, baseball, softball, volleyball and basketball. This will allow students to get home earlier from practices, which often currently end at 9:00 p.m., and allow for increased access for our youth programs.
  • The cafeteria kitchen will be relocated and enlarged to meet the needs of our students.
  • Classroom renovation for Robotics and Engineering.
  • Upgrade safety and security video surveillance
  • Upgrade PA system to enhance safety and security in the building

District

  • New bus garage with storage and wash bay
  • Relocate ticket booth at the athletic field
  • Athletic field restrooms
  • Expand football bleachers and press box due to capacity needs.
  • Buses
  • Technology
  • Administration office renovations
  • Upgrade football field drainage and irrigation

What is the current tax levy and where would it be if the bond passes?

The current levy is at 5.82 mills. If the voters approve this bond issue, the levy would be set at 7.00 mills, which is an estimated increase of 1.18 mills. 7.00 is the threshold where the School Bond Loan Funds limits the amount levied on taxpayers to no more than 7.00 for qualified bonds.

If the cost for the project was less, would that impact the annual tax increase?

The Board of Education reviewed the project and the impact on taxpayers. Because of the 7.00 mill maximum levy, a $6M project would still require an increase of 1.18 mills and a $6M project would not address the needs that have been identified. The difference between the $6M and a $20M project is the amount of time required to pay off the debt.

If this proposal passes, when will the work begin and will students be displaced?

The preliminary plan is to limit disruptions on students and teachers and make sure that we fiscally manage the project in a manner that maximizes the available dollars. Our architects and construction manager are recommending that we put the majority of the project out to bid in the in late fall of 2018 or early winter of 2019, with new construction starting in the spring of 2019. Any new construction is not expected to displace students. The construction on the auditorium, elementary classrooms, gymnasium and bus garage would proceed without displacing students. The band room at the Junior High would be remodeled as soon as the bus garage is completed. The remodeling of current classrooms at Meridian Elementary would take place over the summer of 2019.

How does this proposal differ from the November 2017 Bond Proposal?

After receiving input from the community, the Board of Education made a couple changes to the proposal. The one thing that the Board heard from the community was that the idea of a turf field was not popular with several voters. A couple items were added to the proposal to increase safety and security. The PA systems at the Jr. High and High School will be upgraded to enhance building-wide communication and the ventilation system in the shop at the Jr. High will be replaced.

Ballot Language

MERIDIAN PUBLIC SCHOOLS
BONDING PROPOSAL

Shall Meridian Public Schools, Midland County, Michigan, borrow the sum of not to exceed Twenty Million Two Hundred Thirty Thousand Dollars ($20,230,000) and issue its general obligation unlimited tax bonds therefor, for the purpose of:

erecting, furnishing, and equipping new school facilities; erecting, furnishing, and equipping additions to and remodeling, furnishing and refurnishing, and equipping and re-equipping existing school facilities; acquiring and installing instructional technology in school facilities; purchasing school buses; and erecting, furnishing, equipping, developing, and improving playgrounds, athletic fields and facilities, and sites?

The following is for informational purposes only:

The estimated millage that will be levied for the proposed bonds in 2018, under current law, is 1.18 mills ($1.18 on each $1,000 of taxable valuation). The maximum number of years the bonds may be outstanding, exclusive of any refunding, is twenty-five (25) years. The estimated simple average annual millage anticipated to be required to retire this bond debt is 3.30 mills ($3.30 on each $1,000 of taxable valuation).

The school district expects to borrow from the State School Bond Qualification and Loan Program to pay debt service on the proposed bonds and on additional qualified bonds that have been voter-approved but not yet issued. The estimated total principal amount of the borrowing for the proposed bonds is $3,615,251 and the estimated total interest to be paid thereon is $2,661,218. The estimated total principal amount of the borrowing for the additional bonds, if issued, will be $4,738,432 and the estimated total interest to be paid thereon will be $3,646,904. The estimated duration of the millage levy associated with the borrowing for only the proposed bonds is 17 years. If the additional bonds are issued, it will extend the estimated duration of the millage levy associated with the borrowing by 4 years. The estimated computed millage rate for such levy is 7 mills. The estimated computed millage rate may change based on changes in certain circumstances.

The total amount of qualified bonds currently outstanding is $16,560,000. The total amount of qualified loans currently outstanding is $-0-.

(Pursuant to State law, expenditure of bond proceeds must be audited, and the proceeds cannot be used for repair or maintenance costs, teacher, administrator or employee salaries, or other operating expenses.)

Features of the 2018 Bond Issue

Features of the 2018 Bond Issue

The proposal will include facility and site improvements, technology and transportation:

Sanford Early Childhood Center will see the following improvements:

  • HVAC improvements to include a new energy efficient boilers
  • Updated classrooms
  • Improved safety and security systems
  • Playground improvements

Meridian Elementary School will see the following improvements:

  • Replacement of portable classrooms with new classrooms attached to the building
  • Classroom updates to the 1959 and 1988 portions of the building
  • Restroom renovations
  • Energy efficient windows
  • Upgrade and increase safety and security systems
  • Replace interior flooring
  • Upgrade electrical panels in the 1959 portion of the building

Meridian Jr. High School will see the following improvements:

  • Renovate bus garage into band room
  • Upgrade and increase safety and security systems
  • Wood shop exhaust system
  • Air conditioning system upgrade

Meridian High School will see the following improvements

  • Addition of a multi-purpose center
  • Auditorium
  • Robotics lab renovation
  • Kitchen renovation
  • Parking expansion
  • Safety and security upgrades
  • Upgrade and increase safety and security systems

District improvements will include the following:

  • Construction of a new bus garage to include an indoor wash bay
  • Additional football bleachers
  • Relocate ticket booth to the north end of the football field
  • Restrooms on the north end of the football field
  • Improve irrigation and drainage on the football field
  • Buses
  • Removal of all six portable buildings
  • Ceiling replacement and security upgrades in the administration building

Safety and Security

Safety is a basic and fundamental need at all schools. It is an important part of learning, teaching and well-being. Because we value the safety and security of our students, staff and community, this bond will allow us to provide additional security enhancements throughout the district including:

  • Elimination of portable classrooms and construction of permanent classrooms attached to Meridian Elementary School to improve safety and security by eliminating the need to travel outside of the main building
  • Additional door security features
  • Upgrade and increase video surveillance systems in all buildings
  • Playground improvements
  • Replace our aging bus fleet

Estimated Cost for Proposal

Estimated Cost for Proposal

The estimated tax increase is determined by multiplying the taxable value by .00118

MARKET
VALUE
Taxable
Value
COST PER
YEAR
cOST PER
mONTH

cOST PER
DAY

$50,000$25,000$29.50$2.46$0.08
$100,000$50,000$59.00$4.92$0.16
$150,000$75,000$88.50$7.38$0.25
$200,000$100,000$118.00$9.83$0.33

Proposed Drawings

Community Forums will be held on:

  • Tuesday, April 17th @ 3:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. in the Community Room at Meridian High School
  • Monday, April 23rd @ 8:00 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. in the Community Room at Meridian High School
  • Thursday, April 26th @ 3:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. in the Multi-Purpose Room at Meridian Elementary School

For Further Information, Please Contact:

Craig Carmoney

Superintendent

Email: craig.carmoney@merps.org

Phone: (989) 687-3200 ext. 3206

Paid for by Meridian Public Schools

3661 N M-30 Sanford, MI 48657