MAPS Bond Issue, Part 1

Election Day is next Tuesday, and Marquette-area voters will have to decide whether or not the school district should be allowed to borrow $29 million dollars.

We have a 3–part series examining the bond issue, and ABC 10 News Now senior reporter Mike Hoey has Part 1.

The bond money would pay for new elementary school classrooms and widespread technology improvements — the buildings in the Marquette Area Public Schools don’t have wireless internet access, and that would be added.

The administrative offices would move to Graveraet, where Marquette Alternative High School already is.

But perhaps the one aspect that has attracted the most attention is the closure and demolition of Bothwell Middle School in favor of a new middle school wing at Marquette Senior High School.

The bond would mean a 1.5–mill tax increase.

With interest, the total would be just over $49 million.

The MAPS Board of Education decided to move forward with the bond proposal in July.

A month later, the state gave MAPS the go–ahead to put the measure on next week’s ballot.

Opponents such as Bob Wilson don’t feel that’s enough time.

Bothwell’s demolition would be a small part of the cost, less than a million dollars, but some believe that’s not a worthwhile objective for taking on debt.

Dan Adamini says in his opinion, giving Bothwell away free of charge would be better than borrowing money to knock it down.

Many people in the community have complained about Bothwell for years.

It needs a new boiler and new ventilation, and the design is so antiquated that bond supporters say it would be more expensive to update than to start again.

Rosemary Smith says the open-pod concept that Bothwell’s second floor was built with makes it more difficult to learn because of the very close proximity of different classes to one another that allow students to hear very easily what’s going on right next to them.

Supporters also say the bond is an investment in those who will one day be called upon to invest in the u–p.

Dr. Joe Lubig says he has a third-grader and a fifth-grader in the district, and he wants MAPS to be able to support where they are now and where they’ll be in the future.

Thursday, in Part 2, we’ll look at what has led up to the bond issue making it onto the ballot.