Bond proposed for East Lansing school renovations

Posted at 7:09 AM, Jan 25, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-25 08:08:46-05

The East Lansing school board wants to tear down and rebuild all of its elementary schools and it's looking at a proposed bond to help pay for it.

"The classrooms are smaller than you want for those in classroom learning environments,” Eric Schertzing, the chair of the community bond committee said. “The special needs programs are often working an old closet or old bathroom or old mop room in some instances."

The out of commission Red Cedar Elementary would also see some renovations.

The committee pushing for the bond says the whole process could take around four to five years and will cost more than 93 million dollars.

That means people living in East Lansing would have to pay more in property taxes.
It would work out to around $180 a year on a home with a taxable value of $100,000.

Schertzing says it's cheapest to rebuild all of the schools now.

"It's cheaper to get it done now,” Schertzing said. “Construction costs are better today than they'll be in the future."

One woman at the meeting wasn't happy with the proposed bond.

She wouldn't tell us her name-- but said she and her husband have been living in the community for more than 45 years and don't want to shell out any extra cash for kids living outside the city that go to the schools.

"If I knew we were doing it for our community, fine,” the woman said. “But we're not doing it for our community, we're doing it for everyone. And we're paying it for everyone."

She was also concerned that this proposal is popping up at the same time as a proposed income tax for the city of East Lansing.

"Everyone's taxes will only go up by so much by what your house is worth,” she said. “It's a double whammy.”
The Board of Education will hold a meeting February 6 to adopt a resolution to call the election to put the proposal on the ballot for May 2.