By ZEINAB NAJM
HEIGHTS— Dearborn Heights voters approved a $35 million bond for the Crestwood School District and renewed the District 7 4.66-mill sinking fund millage May 3.
The first bond for the Crestwood district on a ballot in 10 years was passed by a 1,629 to 1,542 vote. Polls saw a 16.9 percent voter turnout with 3,187 total ballots cast from the 18,900 registered voters in the district.
In D7, the 4.66-mill renewal passed 609-351. In total 967 ballots were cast from 8,976 registered voters, representing 10.7 percent of the district.
Crestwood will use the $35 million for technology, safety, property and infrastructure updates throughout the district.
Of the $35 million, $25 million is expected to be used for upgrades on roofing, windows, doors, flooring, cafeterias, kitchens, mechanical, heating and cooling systems, resurfacing, and reconfiguring of student pickup and dropoff areas.
About, $5.4 million will be used for property upgrades such as auditoriums, gymnasiums, pools, locker rooms, restrooms, storage, track and athletic fields, and addition of classrooms.
Technology upgrades for classrooms, computers, phone system, security and sound systems will cost about $4.1 million.
The remaining $500,000 will be set for classroom furniture and equipment for playgrounds as well as music, drama and athletic departments.
“We are delighted and excited that the community supported the district by going out to vote,” Crestwood Supt. Laurine VanValkenburg said. “The bond allows us to provide improved technology, safety and facilities for all of our students.”
The bond millage rate will be set at 3.5 mills with the bond financed over 25 years costing each homeowner an average of $240 per year.
In D7, the sinking fund millage was renewed by voters after approving the same proposal in 1996 and 2005.
The millage will continue the $4.66 tax on every $1,000 of a property’s taxable value for the next 10 years.
About $900,000 is expected to be generated annually to help maintain the district’s building renovations and repairs.
“We are very pleased and thankful that citizens approved the millage again,” D7 Supt. John Frazer said. “We have a great school system, and because of the renewal we can continue to support our schools.”
Planned upgrades include new roofing, pool repairs, replacing drinking fountains and lighting, along with media center, science labs, classroom and athletic updates.
For both the bond and sinking fund, monies may not be used to pay administrator, teacher, or staff salaries; routine maintenance costs; or other school district operating expenses under state law.
(Zeinab Najm can be reached at [email protected].)