By ZEINAB NAJM
ALLEN PARK — The Allen Park Public Schools will have a $74.2 million bond to address areas of improvement within the district after voters overwhelming passed the proposal May 4, 3,221 votes to 951.
The voter turnout was 24.93 percent, according to the Wayne County Clerk’s Office unofficial results.
There will be no increase in the current tax rate with the debt levy remaining at 12 mills.
In a Facebook video post, Supt. Michael Darga said the district is moving the future forward following the passing of the bond.
“I am so grateful our community said ‘yes’ to our 2021 bond proposal,” he said. “Our staff worked hard to pull together bids and proposals, our students helped us with great video content and parents are always our partners. Passing this bond is going to continue to promote lifelong learning, winning athletics and move our schools in the right direction.”
At a May 5 special board meeting, trustees unanimously voted to adopt the first series of bonds as presented to them. Trustee Sarah Filipiak and President Gordon Miller were absent from the meeting.
The areas for improvements listed include paving, roofing, building, mechanical systems, lighting upgrades, athletic fields, program improvements, safety and security, technology infrastructure and equipment, furniture and equipment.
Under program improvements, STEM improvements will be made at each school level. Renovating the Allen Park Middle School pool to collaboration learning space, STEM, and robotics center will cost $2 to $3 million. At Allen Park High School, renovating the high school weight room to robotics and then building a new fitness center will cost $3.5 to $4.5 million.
For technology and security, there are plans to expand video surveillance, access control, replace public address systems, a new phone system, replacing projectors with interactive disc players, adding technology lockers for charging, and replacing classroom sound systems.
In addition, upgrades for furniture and equipment include replacing classroom furniture and purchasing STEM equipment, medical center furniture, band instruments, science equipment, and science equipment are planned.
School district residents last approved two bond proposals totaling $75 million in 2002 for improvement projects.
(Zeinab Najm can be reached at [email protected])