Flat Rock Community Schools is considering a bond proposal in May to pay for, among other things, a new preschool center at Bobcean Elementary School and new collaborative workspaces at Bobcean and Barnes Elementary School.
The details of the proposal are still being finalized, but the Superintendent. Andrew Brodie stressed that the proposal would not increase the current property tax rate for homeowners.
A list of projects was developed after an architectural firm and construction management company conducted an independent needs assessment for the school district’s facilities, Brodie said. Several focus group discussions and a staff survey were conducted to seek community and staff input on the proposed projects.
The list included improvements to the school district if voters approve the proposal. The list includes the new preschool center attached to Bobcean Elementary School and the new collaborative workspaces. Simpson Middle School will have a new main entrance, improvements to the main office, new bleachers and modifications to the music room, he said. At Flat Rock High School, a new wing will be added to connect the hallways.
“This connection will result in a new yard, common space, collaborative workspace, learning lab and fitness center,” Brodie said in an email.
The high school auditorium will also be equipped with toilets. The track and playing field will be transformed into synthetic turf and a new eight-lane track will be installed, the superintendent said.
“In addition to building restorations and upgrades, all school buildings will be equipped with new and improved electrical, plumbing, mechanical and HVAC systems,” he said.
He noted that planning a bond proposal takes several months. First, there is a facility needs assessment which identifies necessary facility improvements. Second, the list of proposed projects must be reviewed by the Board of Education and Directors. The third step is to have the list approved by the Michigan Department of the Treasury. This meeting was held in Lansing on December 20.
On Jan. 3, the school board will meet at 6 p.m. to review the state-led assessment and vote to approve the list of draft bond proposals, he said.
If the board decides to follow through on the bond proposal at its February 3 meeting, a “proposal not to increase the tax rate” will appear on the May 3 ballot, Brodie said.
Starting in February, the district will develop a “global communications initiative” to ensure voters are fully informed of the proposal and have all their questions answered, he said.
“We believe we have engaged staff and the community in developing a bond proposal that will meet the needs of our facilities and position the district for the future,” he said. “Quite simply, the proposal foresees facilities needs that should be addressed now. “
Brodie said residents with questions can call him at 734-535-6502.