Pentwater school to seek bond in November.

May 3, 2022

Pentwater school to seek bond in November.

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By Allison Scarbrough, Editor.

PENWATER — After an unsuccessful attempt last November, Pentwater Public School will again ask voters to approve a bond issue for building improvements Nov. 8, 2022.

School officials have scheduled a community bond forum — aimed at gathering input from community membersfor Monday, May 9, from 6-8 p.m. in the school gym.

The second proposal will be a scaled-down version of the nearly $24 million bond proposal rejected 816-403 by voters last fall, said Superintendent/Principal Dr. Scott Karaptian. 

Key components are renovating the over 60-year-old school building and paving the running track. The prior proposal also included building a new gym and a new auditorium.

School officials may ask voters to consider voting on two separate proposals — one that includes renovations to the school and one that asks for a new gym. The auditorium has been taken out of the equation. 

“This time around, we will more than likely have two proposals on the ballot,” said Karaptian.

“We heard pretty loud and clear that the community did not want to support an auditorium, so the auditorium will definitely be taken off this one,” said the school leader. The auditorium portion of last year’s proposal was about one third of the total project cost, which is approximately $7 million. The price tag for a new gym is also in the $7 million range.

“This time around, the proposal would be for existing building renovations and renovating the track, and another proposal would be for a new gym. So, people would be able to vote yes or no on the first proposal and yes or no on the second proposal. It could be one or the other; or both; or none.”

Prior to last fall, Pentwater had not asked its voters for a tax increase to fund school improvements since 2003. Building improvements most recently made 19 years ago are now “nearing their end of life cycle.”

“We looked at getting a gymnasium, because ours is circa 1959 and really small.”

The Falcon track teams currently have a dirt surface to run on. “We have a track team, but we’ve never had a (paved) track to practice on. And we can’t host anything because we have nowhere to host,” said Karaptian.

Because material costs have escalated since the last proposal, project costs will have to be adjusted.

“We’re just excited to get back at it and present some more options to our community.” Last year, having community forums proved to be difficult as COVID-19 restrictions caused meetings to be virtual. This time, meetings will be in-person, and community members will be able to see the school facilities first-hand.

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