By Robert Tomlinson
CENTREVILLE — A new-look Centreville Public Schools Board of Education conducted its first business of the calendar year Monday, passing a pre-qualification application for its upcoming bond proposal.
Superintendent Chad Brady said the application was a formality, and is a requirement by the state to continue down the road of getting a bond proposal on the May 2 ballot.
As previously reported, the bond proposal currently anticipated by school officials would increase their current bond by approximately 0.8 mills, from 6.2 mills to 7 mills. The current bond, which begins to fall off in 2023, was approved by voters back in November 2013 at the amount of $12.8 million, and was done in three phases over the past nine years.
Some of the significant items listed in the initial proposal include numerous improvements to the elementary school and junior/senior high school buildings, most notably a parking lot expansion, constructing a 4,800 square foot cafeteria addition and 1,400 square foot music room addition to the elementary school, and constructing an 8,500 square foot multipurpose addition to the junior/senior high school that would include a practice court.
The proposal, Brady noted, could raise $17.1 million for the district for these projects and other projects expected to be completed.
Brady said he and administrative assistant Jane Rumsey met with the Michigan Department of Treasury last week in a virtual meeting along with architects and construction management representatives, and that the meeting went well, describing the process involved.
“What the Department of Treasury does is they ask questions about the application, anything they think we need to move around or should be placed somewhere else in it, and give advice on what we are about to submit pending [the school board’s] approval,” Brady said. “Those changes have been made, and we’re at the point now where the board will take action to officially submit that application to the Department of Treasury for a final review.”
Once the application was approved, Brady said the next steps are that the Department of Treasury will review the application, and once that is done, the board will approve a measure to place on the May ballot. He said a special meeting to approve the call for election for the bond will take place on Monday, Feb. 2.
“At that point – we’re already in the process of planning – we’ll begin the informational campaign soon to inform voters of how exactly this thing works, what they can expect, the financial impact, and so on and so forth,” Brady said.
Rod Detwiler, who was appointed as the board’s new president earlier in the meeting, expressed his confidence about the proposal, based on how previous bond proposals have gone.
“This school district’s constituents have been very supportive of referendums in the past, and I have no doubt that they will continue to be that way when we give them the information they need to know and point out the improvements that it will make, the learning opportunities we’ll create for our students, and I’m excited about that possibility,” Detwiler said. “It’s something that, as a taxpayer, it’s one of the costs of having a great school. I think we’ve been a great school for a long time, but I think we can be even better with a few additional facilities that will greatly enhance the programming at both buildings.”
The application was approved unanimously.
Monday’s meeting was also the first for new board members Timothy Hall and Tegan Stuby-Hekter, who were elected back in November to replace the outgoing Michelle Miller and Jeff Troyer, who did not seek re-election. Hall, who works in sales and has five children in Centreville schools, said he’s excited to be a part of the school board.
“I’m glad to get back in a serving role,” Hall said.
Stuby-Hekter, a 1990 Centreville High School alum, has two children in the district and works in the real estate business. She said she looks forward to working with the other members on the school board to lead the district.
“I’m looking forward to keeping Centreville as the top school of choice,” Stuby-Hekter said. “I enjoy Superintendent Brady’s vision and energy, and I look forward to partnering with him and the board.”
Along with Detwiler as president, Jackie Bowen was appointed as vice president, Larry Walton was appointed as treasurer, and T.J. Reed was approved as secretary.
Robert Tomlinson can be reached at 279-7488 or email@example.com.