Fallout from Ishpeming School Bond Vote

Ishpeming voters rejected yesterday’s bond proposal to add onto Birchview Elementary School.

Phelps Middle School would have then closed.

But school officials say the defeat at the ballot box doesn’t mean the need for drastic action is going away.

They say whether voters approve of the bond proposal or not, operating costs are much too high.

They’d wanted to get rid of $400,000 a year by closing Phelps.

School district business manager Anthony Bertucci says the $400,000 will now have to come in the form of program cuts.

The district will also look again at closing one of its buildings — though it may not be Phelps the next time.

Bertucci says it might be Birchview or the high school.

The Ishpeming High School building is 80 years old.

Birchview and Phelps both date back to the late 1950s.

At this point, all options to make up the $400,000 per year are on the table.

He says that includes athletics, class sizes and building space.

Bertucci says those talks will likely start in the next few weeks.

They need to pass a revised budget for the rest of the year and then get cracking on next year.