Holly Area Schools (HAS) wants to go modern with security and a bevy of other structural improvements. It is asking voters for a four-year bond to do it.

 According to the district, the bond isn’t expected to raise taxes for HAS taxpayers, but continue the taxes at the same rate of 8.5 mills.

 After the four years is up, Superintendent Scott Roper said the bond would be paid off over the next 24 years.

 “If approved by voters, the bond proposal would fund safety improvements, building upgrades that keep students safe, warm and dry, and classroom technology that prepares students for jobs, with no tax rate increase,” Roper said.

 When asked why the district cannot fund these projects out of its operating budget, Roper said school districts do not receive funding from the state to finance capital projects like these, which requires districts to use bonds to pay for projects. “The district does not have the operating funds available to support these necessary capital expenditures,” he said.

 This bond will impact anyone residing within the HAS district, which aside from Holly, Rose, Springfield and Groveland townships, will also include parts of White Lake Township, Davisburg and residents right on the Fenton City border.

 Overall, the bond is supposed to raise $38,150,000 for HAS over four years, and $21 million in the first phase, starting March 2019. Projects would end December 2021.

 The district is focusing on safety and security, building and site improvements and learning environments. Per state law, HAS would be audited to ensure that funds are being used as voters intended.

 Bond monies cannot be used for personnel expenses, or other operating expenses — only for facilities upgrades, technology and additions.

 “Buildings and facilities were assessed to determine and prioritize needs throughout the district,” Roper said. He said they spent a year studying the needs of the district. They conducted community surveys to seek input, among other outreach efforts. “We’ve made a point to include input from the entire community every step of the way,” he said.

 Structural improvements would include addressing failing heating and cooling systems, inefficient lighting and electrical systems, old roofs, all elementary school playgrounds and parking lots and sidewalks.

 Technology would also be improved for students and teachers.

Bond project priorities

• Secure school building entrances

• New classroom door hardware

• Additional video surveillance

• Improved exterior lighting

• Upgrades to fire alarm systems, and

• Safer student drop-off sites

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