Boyne City Public Schools Superintendent Pat Little released to the public today a memo he sent to the Boyne City Public Schools Board of Education on Dec. 3.
In it, Little discusses the latest proposal for the school systems plan to make major improvements to its properties.
Following is his Dec. 5 letter to the community as well as the Dec. 3 memo. The public is reminded that the school board will vote whether to place the millage proposal on the May 2020 ballot at its Monday Dec. 9 meeting.
Hello Community Members!
I wanted to thank you for attending our BCPS community meetings related to the proposed bond a few weeks ago or reaching out to me individually with your thoughts. As a reflection of the feedback received the following memo was sent to the Board of Education earlier this week. We have found ways to adjust our plans to reflect further feedback and to stay within budget, and not ask for a tax increase.
Next Monday (Dec. 9) at 6:30 pm is our next Board meeting. During the meeting, there will be a discussion about the bond proposal.
As with all Board meetings, there are designated times for public comment. The attached memo is part of the discussion and is a public document.
I would encourage you to read this memo.
Although not every desire expressed as feedback can be met, I hope you will agree that several items have been reflected in these adjustments to the plans.
These adjustments are the recommendations I have made. Ultimately, the Board is the final decision-maker on this matter. This memo outlines several changes. All of the improvements included in the presentation are still in place including new buses, 5 redesigned and remodeled science rooms, keeping our technology current, replacing carpeting, auditorium improvements, and much more.
Thank you for coming to the public meeting and for sharing your views on the needs of the district.
Patrick Little, Superintendent Boyne City Public Schools
MEMO To: Board of Education
From: Pat Little
RE: Update on Bond Project
This memo is written to suggest a few revisions to the proposed Bond issue scheduled for May 5, 2020. In the past few weeks, we (Board and Administration) have been given a fair amount of feedback on the bond concepts.
Participation was better than expected and more than 30 people attended our two community meetings. I have also gathered feedback from staff using this same presentation. Finally, we received comments and questions from citizens who did not attend but wanted to express their views. Overall, feedback is what we requested and received.
There are several items I would suggest altering our plans. At the end of this memo is a chart summarizing the effect of each change on the proposed bond budget.
This proposed project remains a “No Tax Increase” bond proposal.
1. The construction type of the field house.
The field house was priced with 100% conventional materials: solid block like our current gyms. Barton-Malow and IDI have suggested pre-fabricated materials as they have used these materials on other projects.
Due to the location of the proposed field house/connector, we must maintain a consistent look from M-75 to keep our excellent curb appeal. For this reason, I have requested a hybrid structure. The connector, front of the field house structure, and the wall up to the track level of the structure on all sides will be conventional construction.
But, the area over the track level will be pre-fabricated. In initial estimates, this could save $2,177,545. Taking this approach will maintain the purpose behind the building but free funds to take care of other needs in the district.
2. The middle school lunchroom has been a topic of debate recently There are two issues that limit the efficient use of student lunchtime.
a. First is the structure of the school day. This is a problem outside of the bond scope and cannot be addressed by bond funds. I have complete confidence in Mike Wilson and his staff to manage this issue.
b. Secondly, is the structure of the lunchroom itself. For the past 58 years, students have survived lunch in terms of both the allotted time to eat (consistently 30 minutes for many years) and the structure of the room.
However, the opportunity to improve may be at hand and clearly, the community is requesting this change.
I have requested both preliminary designs and accompanying costs on an extension to the MS lunch room. The implementation of two cashier stations will limit wait time for students, thus allowing more time to eat their lunch. We will want to balance more space with an aesthetically appealing look from the front of the building. In order to meet the request of 50% more space (1000 square feet), there would be an addition to the front of the middle school at an estimated cost of $352,956
3. At the community and staff meetings, the request to have a turf option for the field house was clear and overall the most requested item. For maximum flexibility of the facility, I believe mobile turf is the best option. While efforts will need to be coordinated to transition the floor from hard surface to turf, we are confident that it can be done well.
The cost for this mobile turf option is $112,031 for 8,000 square feet, which is approximately half of the space. This week, Adam Stefanki and I traveled to Grand Blanc Community Schools who recently installed this turf solution in their large gym.
After looking at their 8,000 square foot space we feel, this size turfed area would meet the needs of the coaches and players for our proposed field house space. We also learned a great deal about the cleaning and maintenance of this product.
4. Another community-based idea was the need for improved trainer space . Our trainers attended and articulated the desire for this change. I have met with Cindy Banner who is leading that group to discuss their ideas. The estimated size would be 500 square feet and a cost of $100,653.
5. Another concept brought forward was constructing a wrestling room in the field house area.
The wrestling room would be on the first floor where in past designs the weight room was located. In this revision, the weight room would be above the wrestling room, (on the track level) and office areas described later in this memo.
Currently, the wrestlers practice at the BCEC. It is a desire to move as many programs to campus as possible with our limited property options.
In this case, the wrestlers could make that move and simplify student-athletes getting to practice and possibly making this room have other purposes outside of the wrestling season. The estimated size would be 2000 square feet with a cost of $402,612.
6. An idea that has been discussed is creating a shared workspace for law enforcement (Charlevoix County Sheriff’s Department and Boyne City Policy Department).
In talking with both Chief Spate and Sheriff Vondra, they are very supportive of this concept. This would be a simple, secure space for paperwork or for brief, small meetings to occur. The estimated size is 200 square feet with an estimated cost of $40,261.
This space, in addition to the connector between the high school and middle school, creates a more secure campus for our students and staff.
7. As the chart below illustrates, these changes will leave $1,169,568 remaining from our targeted total project spending. I would suggest allocating these funds to two previously reduced areas of need.
a. $584,793 allocated to further progress towards our transition to LED-based lighting . The current plan moves the middle school to this goal but only leaves the other buildings with a partial transition. This would not fully complete the district to LED but would show significant progress.
b. $584,239 allocated for further furniture and equipment replacement would help improve the functionality of classrooms and learning environments.
We have made some minor gains in this area due to spending from the 2016 bond. But there is a need to continue improvements in this area.
Importantly, I suggest that no deviation from the overall plan be considered at this time. The middle school has seen significant investment in vital infrastructure since 2016. That effort would continue if this bond were approved.
I am confident that this bond project will enhance and improve our facilities for students, staff, and the community.
Judging from the citizens at the community meetings and the feedback I’ve been receiving I believe we already have many supporters of this project. Of course, there are those who are skeptical of the scope and timeline of the project.
In meeting and talking to them, I have found that the facts, when presented in the proper context, speak in support of our direction.
This will be the primary challenge for our administrative team and the Board, to communicate the facts and help voters to make an informed choice by voting day.
Please note : the total project amount with combining bond funding and a yearly set aside portion of the Enhancement Millage will remain the same with these changes and is reflected on the proposed ballot language prepared by Thrun Law Firm. Below is a summary of the changes I am suggesting to the Board and the overall effect on the proposed total project budget.