2018-02-08 / Community

Ubly to place $8.7M bond on ballot

By John Bonke
Staff Writer • jbonke@mihomepaper.com

UBLY - Ubly Community Schools will place an $8.7 million bond proposal on the May 8 ballot. The district is proposing a set of projects that includes renovations and infrastructure updates.

The projects include renovation of the 1936-constructed section; adding four elementary school classrooms and upgrading existing rooms; improving the drop-off and pick-up area; heating, ventilation and air conditioning upgrades; new unit ventilators; replacing roof sections and new flooring; bleachers, lighting and sound system in the main gym.

Candela said building committee members asked residents for their input.

“It’s all about learning,” Candela said. Residents also said a priority is maintaining the district’s facilities, he noted.

Candela explained the $8.7 million request is 1.7 mill over 20 years and the owner of a house with $54,000 taxable value would pay $7.65 per month ($91.80 per year); the average Ubly home is $108,000.

Instruction would continue in the 1936 section, Candela said. Currently, the section is used for 7th through 12th grade classes.

Adding four elementary rooms would provide more space for instruction and give flexibility. One main benefit would be that students needing individual instruction could remain in their classroom.

Currently, the student and paraprofessional have to go out in the hallway where there are many distractions, Candela noted.

The district is looking to improve drop-off and pick-up, which currently uses M-19. Candela said planners are looking at ways to get the traffic flow off of that main road.

Candela said the heating and cooling work is being looked at because the equipment is “at the end of their useful lifetime and are at the point of replacement.”

The improvements in the high school gym will replace the floor and the bleachers, which have been in place for many years. The work in the gym will update and improve lighting and the sound system. Candela said he’s been told it’s best to do lights, sound, bleachers and floor at the same time because you don’t want to do the floor first and then have workers put wear and tear on it by installing the other items later.

Community forums and tours are being planned to further explain the projects, Candela said.

The Ubly district educates about 700 students, with more than 200 in the Young 5 through third grade and about 60 in the 4th and 5th grades. There are more than 150 in the 6th through 8th grades and about 250 in the high school level.

In related efforts, the school board approved $32,500 at a Jan. 22 special meeting to purchase the ‘Re-Store’ building and St. John Evangelical Catholic Church hall.

Plans are for a preschool and latchkey center, expected to open for the 2018- 2019 school year.

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