Lapeer Community Schools plans for November 2019 bond election
After months of study and input from the community, the Lapeer Community Schools (LCS) Board of Education approved placing a $94.9 million bond proposal on the November 5, 2019 ballot.
If the bond proposal is approved by voters, the current tax rate would increase by an estimated 2.7 mills. For the average homeowner, the cost would be $12 per month.
According to Superintendent Matthew Wandrie, approval of the bond proposal would allow the school district to implement a district-wide restructuring plan to meet the educational needs of this generation and the next.
“Our goal is to provide Lapeer Community Schools students with the best educational opportunities possible while being fiscally responsible to taxpayers,” Wandrie said. “Implementing the restructuring plan developed with input from over 600 community members, parents, students and staff, will allow us to restructure the school district and make long-overdue facility updates.”
The restructuring plan calls for the following:
1. Maintenance of the year-round program in grades K-8.
2. The development of an Early Childhood Center at Turrill Elementary School to serve all kindergarten students and the district’s Early Five program.
3. A reconfiguration of the East Campus, currently home to Lapeer High School, to serve all Lapeer students in grades 1-4. Lynch, Mayfield, and Murphy elementary schools would be closed and sold.
4. Use of Schickler Elementary School for the district’s alternative and virtual learning programs.
5. The reconfiguration of the Rolland-Warner Campus which would become an intermediate school, serving all Lapeer students in grades 5-6.
6. The Zemmer Campus would serve all Lapeer students is grades 7-8.
7. The Center for Innovation (formerly Lapeer West High School) would undergo a full-scale renovation and become Lapeer High School. This comprehensive high school would serve all students in grades 9-12 and include programming currently offered at the Center for Innovation. The District’s Athletic Complex would remain at the site.
8. Maple Grove and Cramton campuses would remain as currently configured. (A large portion of Maple Grove would continue to be leased to Community Mental Health and another portion of the building would continue to provide virtual school programming.) The Home School Partnership Program would remain at the Cramton facility.
9. The Administration building would remain as currently configured and house the administrative services staff that support the school district’s educational offerings.
The new configuration would reduce operational costs by an estimated $1.0-1.5 million annually, while providing more educational opportunities and specialized programming for students.
“This proposal represents an investment in the future of Lapeer that, if approved, will benefit entire community,” said LCS Board of Education President Michael Keller. “We are confident that the restructuring plan will provide the best educational experience for our students, reduce operational costs, and support the district’s continuing commitment to enhance student achievement.”
“Approval of the bond proposal would mark a huge step forward for the District,” Wandrie said. “This reconfiguration plan is the result of years of strategic planning and community engagement. From now until election day, we look forward to sharing with residents the rationale, cost savings, and timelines to implement the plan.”
The last time residents voted on a bond proposal to upgrade district facilities was in 2007. That bond was primarily used to renovate the Rolland-Warner and Zemmer campuses, both of which are essential to the restructuring plan.
All bond projects must be approved by the Michigan Department of Treasury. In addition, all renovations and upgrades will be in compliance with all state and federal laws including the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
To inform residents of the plan and the proposed projects, a series of meetings will be conducted throughout the community. In addition, a complete list of planned projects as well as all bond information can be found online at LapeerSchools.org.