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Voters Approve School Bond

Voters Approve School Bond

(Crystal A. Proxmire, Ferndale 115 News, March 1, 2012 ed)

Early numbers indicate that voters in the Ferndale School District approved a $22,825,000 bond in Tuesday’s election.  This means that most residents will continue paying around the same amount in taxes that they used to and the schools get money to improve facilities.  Totals, as they become official, are available at Presidential Primary and other elections in Oakland County can be found there as well.

Update:  Ferndale Schools has issued the following press release:

The Results of the Ferndale Public Schools Bond Election are in.

Bond Election Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Election Results unofficial (and without absentee)

Yes Votes       No Votes

2509                  982

The results of the bond election will have a tremendously positive impact on the students of the school district today and into the future. School bond millages are the method public schools have to fund significant capital improvements they couldn’t fund from their general fund budgets.  Bonds require the support of the community, which for the Ferndale Schools includes the voters of Ferndale, Oak Park, Pleasant Ridge, and the Charter Township of Royal Oak.

Gary Meier, Superintendent, says: “The next steps will be to structure the bond issue for sale over the next few months. Concurrently, district architects and construction managers will begin planning and design work for Summer 2012 Projects. By the time students return next fall, some of the work will already be completed.”

Superintendent Gary Meier added, “Thanks for this bond go to the outstanding work of the Citizens for Quality Schools who took on the mission of sharing the need for the bond with the community and were so successful in passing this bond. The work of this committee and today’s vote demonstrates the broad-based support for the Ferndale Schools and our students. I believe this committee is the most organized and best citizens committee I’ve ever seen.  Their work has demonstrated their extraordinary commitment to the students of our district.”

Meier added, “I especially want to thank Tim Collins, Carol Frederick and Rob Bokram who together chaired the grassroots outreach process for the bond.  Their leadership was terrific. They mobilized people from all of our communities.”

The projects included in the 2012 Bond were carefully determined under the guidance of a Citizens Bond Committee. The $22.8-million bond will provide facilities improvements across the district, including significant work at the Ferndale High School/Middle School building where all remaining asbestos will be removed making room to replace 50-year old lighting with energy-efficient lighting, heating, and adding cooling throughout the facility. The auditorium stage will be remodeled making it accessible for all students, with new stage lighting and curtains.  In addition, two schools will receive full-service kitchens where they previously had only storage kitchens. Other schools will receive mechanical upgrades, parking lot resurfacing, and safety guardrail replacements. Districtwide technology improvements are a significant portion of the bond which will allow the district to keep pace with emerging instructional technologies.

The 2012 Bond is an extension of an existing 7 mill bond that was approved by voters in 2004 and was scheduled to continue through 2023. With the 2012 bond extension, taxpayers not pay more than the 7 mills, but will continue bond payments an additional 20 years through approximately 2043. The actual rate, determined by property values, will vary.

Comments from those attending the Campaign Wrapup Meeting:

Committee co-chair, Tim Collins: “I’ve never been so proud of my community and the voters. I was involved in the Headlee Override for the City of Ferndale, and this election is just as, or more important, too. Thank you to everyone who came out to support us and all the hard work the committee did to make this happen.”

Board President Keith Warnick: “I’m proud of all the hard work the Citizens for Quality Schools put forward on this effort. It was a cross section of community members from all corners of the district.  They all came together to help us accomplish a goal we set back in the summer.  Now, we can get our schools up to the level where they should be: safe, structurally sound and technologically up to date to help us improve student achievement and keep us competitive with other districts in our area.”

Board Treasurer Jim Pfleger: “Thank you very much to all the people who trusted us to do the right things for all the kids who attend schools in the Ferndale School district. We as a Board recognize our obligation to spend the money wisely. We can promise the voters we will have regular progress updates on all the Bond projects, so they can see where the money is going.

Bridget Deegan-Krause, CQS committee member and parent of two children in the district: “I’m proud of the work of our committee. I’m especially proud of the Ferndale School district voters and congratulate them for making a good choice.”

Brad Parks, a district parent who served on the CQS public relations subcommittee, said: “We’re thrilled that the parents and voters of the Ferndale school district have once again and shown their commitment to education. They put their trust in us and we won’t let them down.”

Katrina Collins, Board Secretary: “I knew that the community would come together and support our schools.”

Darcey McLaughlin, Board Member: “Thank you to our wonderful community for passing this bond proposal.  Our wonderful students deserve every penny and more and we are committed to giving them what they work so hard for.   Our community has always supported our schools and I am pleased as punch that this proposal has the same results.  It’s been a great experience to once again see our collective communities come together to support our schools.    It is extremely important for our youth to maintain the positive energy that was put forth during this bond campaign.  Thank you Ferndale Public Schools Community!”

Rob Bokram, Committee Co-Chair: “I am very proud of the entire group who formed this political action committee: the parents, the citizens and the students, all who put their personal time in to keep the commitment that Ferndale has demonstrated for over 20 years to the school system and a quality education. Now it’s time to get down to the hard work of creating a modern school system for students today and tomorrow.”

Mary Schusterbauer, CQS Committee Member and former School Board Member: “I felt that because the process our committee used during the summer was so thorough our ability to educate the community and communicate our schools’ needs was instrumental in to our success tonight.”

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