TRAVERSE CITY — Traverse City Area Public Schools administrators want to take another shot at securing capital improvement funds this year. To do so, they’ll try dividing last November’s $100-million bond proposal into smaller, less expensive pieces.
District officials expected to present their bond recommendation to the TCAPS Board of Education during a meeting Monday night following an extensive review of why voters defeated the last TCAPS bond proposal by roughly 7,000 votes.
“We’ve obviously done a lot of due diligence to see what the general public wants,” board member Scott Hardy said. “Now we’ve got to sort through that.”
TCAPS Superintendent Stephen Cousins credited the community at-large with providing valuable feedback, and said several core concepts stood out during the review process.
Community members will support a bond issue, but they want to see a lower overall dollar amount, a shorter time frame for the completion of projects and a proposed Central High School auditorium construction project separated from other would-be projects.
“Those were really four messages that just kept coming out over and over again,” Cousins said.
The administration’s recommendation calls for two separate ballot questions in November. The first is a $35-million, .27-mil main proposal for, among other projects, reconstruction at Interlochen, Eastern and Glenn Loomis elementary schools, bus and technology replacements, and security upgrades at Central High School and West Middle School.
The second is a $13-million, .09-mil 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.
They also ask voters to consider projects with an overall price tag that’s less than half the cost of the projects in TCAPS’ last bond proposal: $48 million versus the $100 million sought last year.
Much of the savings result from the recommendation to delay major renovation plans at Central Grade School for three to four years, which also shortens the overall timeline for completion of the proposed projects to six years.