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June 11, 2013

TCAPS to float two bond questions in 2013

TRAVERSE CITY — Traverse City’s public school district will ask voters to weigh in on two capital improvement ballot questions in November.

Traverse City Area Public Schools Board of Education members in a 6-0 vote Monday night approved a $35-million main bond proposal that includes reconstruction projects at Interlochen, Eastern and Glenn Loomis elementary schools, bus and technology replacements, and security upgrades at Central High School and West Middle School; and a second $13-million proposal for auditorium reconstruction at Central High School.

The proposals respectively would result in annual average tax increases of about $27 and $9 for owners of a $200,000 home.

Some board members supported an additional third ballot question for major renovations at Central Grade School, but that proposal was ultimately rejected in a 4-2 vote following extensive board discussion. Board Treasurer Erik Falconer did not attend the meeting.

“Even though we ended on a failed motion I do think that what we’ve authorized and agreed upon unanimously is very exciting for the district,” Kelly Hall, president of the TCAPS Board of Education, said during the meeting.

Board member Scott Hardy was the most vocal proponent of floating the third millage request for Central Grade School.

The roughly 80-year-old school needs major work, including, but not limited to, replacing the building’s mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems. District officials estimate the full school makeover will cost about $26 million.

Hardy pointed to strong community support for that project and said the school is an integral part of the greater Traverse City community.

“This has got more community sentiment and support, and I need to get an answer from the community on where they stand with this,” Hardy said during the meeting.

“It’s all about a walkable, livable community, small-town character, the whole nine yards. Everything we sell is somehow represented by Central Grade School.”

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