The superintendent said officials are considering a putting a tax issue before district voters to fund the work, possibly in early 2014.
The school board named Kalamazoo-based TowerPinkster as architect and the Skillman Corporation, of Portage, as construction manager for a project that calls for $3.8 million in facility renovations and $2.2 million in technology upgrades. The board also designating bond counsel and other consultants.
Superintendent Jeff Rehlander said district officials are looking to repair and reconstruct roofs, electrical and mechanical systems and upgrade wireless technology system. Also proposed are safety-related improvements such as new entrances, doors and security cameras.
"We're also looking at one-to-one devices for our students," Rehlander said, including possibly equipping each student with a laptop or Ipad.
The proposal is part of a months-long information-gathering process and next goes to a steering committee for further consideration.
"They may take it down," Rehlander said. "They may keep it as is. We're going to ask them for input."
In order to sell bonds to fund the work, the district would need voter approval of a property tax to pay off the debt, the superintendent said. Currently, a levy of 2 mills would generate about $6.44 million.
"We're hoping for a February vote or a May vote," Rehlander said.
A mill is $1 of tax per $1,000 of taxable value of a property. A 2-mill levy on a property with a taxable value of $40,000 would cost the owner $80 a year.
Part of the reason for the proposed upgrade is to help attract more students to Gobles, according to Rehlander, in this time when parents have more options to send their children to districts outside their usual boundaries.
"What that's forced schools to do, we have to work on marketing, we have to work on branding ourselves," Rehlander said. "We have to work on making ourselves attractional."
Article by Rod Smith, Special to the Kalamazoo Gazette; article first featured on MLive.Com at the following link: http://www.mlive.com/news/kalamazoo/index.ssf/2013/08/gobles_school_officials_advanc.html