2024 Bond Proposal

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2024 Bond Proposal - Proposed Election Date: August 6th 2024

Kids around a computer.

Scope of Proposal –
What Is On the Ballot?

What Can a Bond Proposal Be Used For?

Bonds can be used for:

  • Constructing new school buildings
  • Constructing additions to existing school buildings
  • Remodeling existing school buildings
  • Energy conservation improvements
  • Land purchases
  • Site development and improvements
  • Athletic and physical education facility development and improvements
  • Playground development and improvements
  • Refunding debt (if new present value savings can be demonstrated)
  • Direct bond program costs such as professional fees, election fees, issuance costs, qualification fees, insurance fees, final audit costs
  • School bus purchases
  • Purchasing loose furnishings and equipment (including administrative technology)
  • Technology purchases are limited to hardware and communication devices that transmit, receive or compute information for pupil instructional purposes only. The initial purchase of operating systems and customized application software is allowed if purchased with the initial hardware.

Bonds cannot be used for: 

  • Salaries, service contracts, lease payments, installment contracts, and supplies
  • Repairs, maintenance, or maintenance agreements
  • Purchasing automobiles, trucks, or vans
  • Portable classrooms purchased for temporary use
  • Uniforms
  • Textbooks
  • Upgrades to an existing computer operating system or application software
  • Computer training, computer consulting, or computer maintenance contracts

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How will the bond proposal not increase the current tax rate?

    Avondale School District will extend the current tax rate for the entirety of the bond, which will not require any tax rate increase to complete the projects.
  • What requirements have been put in place to make sure the bond proposal revenue will be properly spent?

    Every project in the bond proposal has been reviewed and approved by the Michigan Department of Treasury. All renovations and upgrades must comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and state building codes. Bond proposal funds must be used only for purposes specified in the ballot language, and as required by state law, they must be independently audited annually.
  • If the bond proposal is approved by voters, how will home values be affected?

    Research indicates that real estate values tend to be higher in communities with school districts that are perceived to offer a quality educational program and have up-to-date school facilities.

    All Avondale School District bond proposal projects are designed to reflect positively on homeowner property values and the school district’s commitment to effectiveness and efficiency.
  • Will the sale of the bonds cover all bond proposal projects?

    Yes. All proposed bond projects will be completed through revenue received from the bond proposal.
  • How were the bond proposal projects identified?

    In early 2023, Avondale School District administrative staff completed an internal review of all school facilities as part of the school district’s strategic plan. Meetings with building-level staff members and parents and guardians representing all schools were held to garner their input as well.

    School officials then worked with architectural and construction management specialists to determine short- and long-term facility needs and to identify bond proposal projects based upon the input they had gathered. Identified projects were grouped into six categories:
    • Enhancing safety and security
    • Improving the instructional space
    • Enhancing arts and athletics
    • Improving infrastructure and school sites
    • Enhancing instructional technology
    • Expanding opportunities for young learners through the construction of an Early Childhood Center.
    Following the development of the initial bond proposal projects, a series of focus panels were conducted to garner additional feedback from community members, parents and guardians, staff, and students.

    The school district also sought community and staff input through an online survey. All staff and community members were invited to participate in the survey and express their opinions about the proposed bond proposal projects.

    After all this information was reviewed, the project list was finalized. The project costs were identified, and an application to the Michigan Department of Treasury was submitted for review and approval. The Board of Education set the election after receiving approval of the bond application from the Michigan Department of Treasury.
  • What safety measures will be added through the 2024 bond proposal?

    Safety measures will be enhanced at all school sites. Enhancements include upgrading the emergency alert system, replacing the fire alarm system and PA systems, updating card access systems, adding additional security cameras, upgrading interior and exterior lighting, and upgrading the secure entry vestibule at Avondale High School.
  • How will the bond proposal improve the educational environment?

    Facility updates will be completed at all schools and facilities operated by the Avondale School District. Updates will include modernizing classrooms and instructional spaces, updating fine arts and theater spaces, updating playgrounds and athletic spaces, renovating and upgrading the Robotics space, and upgrading instructional technology.

    In addition, a new Early Childhood Center will be constructed on an existing school property at the corner of Squirrel and Waukegan. This site will provide a space specific to young learners and would include up to 20 classrooms, auxiliary spaces, and a new playground.
  • What enhancements will be made to the arts?

    Updates for the arts at the high school will include updating the theater, including replacing the house lighting, installing a wired data network for lighting control, replacing the audio system, adding LED lighting fixtures, adding rigging controls and hoists, replacing follow/spot fixtures, and improving the HVAC system in the Scene Shop. In addition, updates to the art room will include replacing the casework, kiln, and sinks.

    At the middle school, updates for the arts will include replacing the stage floor, improving stage lighting, adding a projection screen on the stage, and adding two dressing rooms by the stage.
  • What enhancements will be made to athletics?

    Updates for athletics will include updating and replacing playground equipment at all elementary schools.

    At the middle school, athletic updates include replacing the scoreboard and lighting at the football field, adding turf to the football field, improving the concession stand, renovating the basketball area, and updating gym lighting.

    At the high school, updates include track replacements, replacing nettings for our baseball and softball fields, lighting upgrades throughout the complex, upgrading tennis courts and upgrading the scoreboards in the gyms/stadium.
  • How often is technology updated/replaced?

    Avondale School District has a technology replacement plan that is updated annually. Based on the annual “needs assessment,” the replacement of student devices is on a five- year cycle.

    The May 7 bond proposal will provide funds to update the technology infrastructure and instructional technology tools throughout the district. The Michigan Department of Treasury and federal tax regulations require that specific items in a bond proposal be paid for before they become obsolete. For example, computers must be paid off within five years of their first use.
  • How have staff members been involved in planning updates for the schools where they work?

    From the on-set of identifying building improvements and enhancements, staff members in all schools have had opportunities to provide input including early planning meetings, focus panel discussions, and a community and staff survey.
  • When was the last bond proposal approved by voters?

    The last bond proposal approved by Avondale School District voters was in 2017. All projects completed through the 2017 bond proposal were completed on time and within budget.
  • How will residents be informed about the bond proposal?

    Avondale School District officials are sharing information about the bond proposal through community meetings, direct mailings, social media, the school district website, and the news media. To view a complete list of bond projects and learn more about the bond proposal, visit www.avondaleschools.org and click on Bond Election Information.
  • What is a bond proposal?

    A bond is a State-approved funding process for a set scope of projects. When voters approve a bond proposal, the school district sells bonds in the authorized amount and uses the bond sale proceeds to pay for those projects in the bond proposal. Bonds are typically set up to be paid back in 20-30 years.

    In many ways, the bonding process is like a homeowner obtaining a mortgage and making payments over a period of years. The Avondale School District's no-tax-rate increase bond proposal length is 25 years.

    Bonds can be used for:
    • Constructing new school buildings
    • Constructing additions to existing school buildings
    • Remodeling existing school buildings
    • Energy conservation improvements
    • Land purchases
    • Site development and improvements
    • Athletic and physical education facility development and improvements
    • Playground development and improvements
    • Refunding debt (if new present value savings can be demonstrated)
    • Direct bond program costs such as professional fees, election fees, issuance costs, qualification fees, insurance fees, final audit costs
    • School bus purchases
    • Purchasing loose furnishings and equipment (including administrative technology)
    • Technology purchases are limited to hardware and communication devices that transmit, receive or compute information for pupil instructional purposes only. The initial purchase of operating systems and customized application software is allowed if purchased with the initial hardware.
    Bonds cannot be used for:
    • Salaries, service contracts, lease payments, installment contracts, and supplies
    • Repairs, maintenance, or maintenance agreements
    • Purchasing automobiles, trucks, or vans
    • Portable classrooms purchased for temporary use
    • Uniforms
    • Textbooks
    • Upgrades to an existing computer operating system or application software
    • Computer training, computer consulting, or computer maintenance contracts
  • Can any of the bond proposal funds be used for employee salaries or operating expenses?

    No. Bond proposal funds cannot be used for employee salaries. They also cannot be used for repair or maintenance costs or other operating expenses. Bond proposal funds must be used only for purposes specified in the ballot language, and as required by state law, they must be independently audited.
  • What will appear on the ballot?

    Here is the exact ballot wording:

  • A yes vote typically means that a voter supports a ballot proposal. Is that the case in this election?

    Yes. Voters who support the Avondale School District no-tax-rate increase bond proposal should vote YES; voters who oppose the bond proposal should vote NO.
  • What will happen if voters do not approve the bond proposal?

    The bond projects cannot be completed as proposed.
  • Who can vote in this bond proposal election?

    Residents of Avondale School District who will be 18 years of age or older on Election Day and are registered to vote can vote in this election.
  • Where can I get information about voting (such as how to register, where to vote, and absentee voting)?

    Go to the Michigan Voter Information website (www.michigan.gov/vote) or call your local clerk’s office.
  • Do I need to update my voter registration?

    You need to update your voter registration if you have changed your name or address since the last time you voted. You can do this at any Secretary of State Office or your local clerk’s office.
  • Can I vote by absentee ballot?

    Yes. Registered voters do not need a reason to vote by absentee ballot. You can request an absentee ballot application from your clerk’s office or by going online to www.michigan.gov/vote and clicking on Absentee Voting in the left column.

    Absentee ballots will be available to voters after March 28 and can be cast through Election Day.
  • Where can I get more information about the bond proposal?

    • Visit www.avondaleschools.org and click on Bond Proposal Information.
    • Contact Dr. James Schwarz, Superintendent
      • Phone: 248-537-6000
      • Email: james.schwarz@avondaleschools.org
  • Can community members give feedback about the bond proposal?

    Yes. Members of the community are invited to participate in a brief survey about the bond. To view and complete the survey, please visit www.research.net/r/ASDbondproposal. The community can also send input through email at avondale.bond@avondaleschools.org.
  • What projects will be completed at each facility?

    A summary of the projects to be completed at each school can be found above in the “Summary of Projects” section on this page.