When Plymouth-Canton voters head to the polls May 7, they'll consider a $114 million bond proposal to replace an aging Central Middle School, replace buses and upgrade technology throughout the district.
Superintendent Jeremy Hughes shared the district's case for the bond Monday with parents at a forum at the Canton Public Library, stressing the urgency of some of the pending expenditures.
The $114 bond proposal, which Hughes said would not increase the district's current millage rate of 4.1 mills if passed, will replace Central Middle School with a new building on district-owned property at Canton Center and Cherry Hill roads in Canton, install fiberoptic networking throughout the district, add tablet devices and laptop computers to each K-12 student, make building improvements and gradually replace the district's outdated fleet of buses.
Hughes said if the bond is approved, voters would opt to hold the rate from an existing millage at 4.1 mills rather than decreasing to 3.75, or about $35 a year for owners of a $200,000 home.
Among the urgent needs facing the district, Hughes said, is replacing an aging Central Middle School with a building that creates an equitable learning experience between the district's five middle schools. In addition, Hughes said, about 25 of the district's 130 buses need replacement to ensure continued safety. Additional computer labs in each building also will ensure each building can accommodate changes to the current paper-and-pencil MEAP test to a state-mandated online assessment in 2014.
With the new middle school, Hughes said, the district would redraw its current boundaries to make more geographic sense. Currently, he said, 73 percent of middle schoolers in the district reside in Canton, yet many commute to four of the district's Plymouth-based middle schools.
The timeline for the improvements are as follows:
- New middle school: 2013-2015
- Additions to existing middle schools: 2013-2014
- Technology improvements (fiberoptic installation, etc.): 2014-2016
- Classroom technology: 2014-2018
- Generaly facility improvements: 2016-2018
- Bus purchases: 2014-2018
The election will take place May 7. The final day to register to vote is April 8, and the final day to vote absentee is May 6.
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