By SUE SUCHYTA
Sunday Times Newspapers
MELVINDALE – The Baker College campus, 4500 Enterprise Drive in Allen Park, could become the new Melvindale High School during the 2022-23 school year through a general fund bond issuance.
During a special meeting of the Melvindale-Northern Allen Park Board of Education April 22, the board approved the purchase of Baker College for $5 million, and approved a $10 million facility purchase and capital improvement general fund bond resolution.
The issuance of the 2021 School Building and Site Bonds, which are limited tax general obligation bonds, are secured by a limited tax full faith and credit pledge from the school district.
The district has had its eye on the campus since it was announced Baker was closing the location, but failed to obtain voter approval for a millage in 2019 for $39 million, which would have used the Baker College campus for both middle school and high school classes.
The district had planned to put a $23.7 million bond proposal before school district voters in May 2020, which would have purchased Baker College and renovated other district buildings, but the school board pulled it because of the pandemic.
The issuance of the $10 million bond is being done without approval of the taxpayers through either a millage or tax bond approval.
The district plans to expand its vocational education programs at the Baker site, given the availability of additional classrooms.
The district will maintain the current high school football field, and the existing high school will accommodate sports and extra-curricular activities, as Baker has neither a gymnasium nor an auditorium.
A room will be acoustically modified on the Baker campus to serve as the high school band room.
The buildings at the Baker site are air conditioned, which will accommodate an extended school year if it is ever implemented.