What is the question before the voters?
An estimated 0.37 mill increase over 10 years to reconstruct a new High Point School for students with the most significant needs receiving special education services.
What is a mill?
The amount of tax payable per $1,000 of taxable value of a property.
What is High Point School?
High Point School is specifically dedicated to meet the specialized needs of students with disabilities from ages 3 through 26 by offering programming for students with severe cognitive and multiple impairments. Students from all 9 public schools across Washtenaw County attend High Point. High Point School also offers:
High Point School opened in 1975, but was built to serve a different population of students with disabilities than it currently serves. Originally, High Point served students who were physically, emotionally, and cognitively capable enough to learn how to live and work independently, and they attended High Point School specifically for career training programs.
Today, High Point School is the only educational program in Washtenaw County designed to meet the needs of High Point's unique students. No other programs have the capacity to educate students with significant medical, emotional, physical, and cognitive needs.
The High Point School building also shares its space with three other education programs: Honey Creek Community School, Gretchen's House, and WISD's Deaf and Hard of Hearing Program. Honey Creek Community School is a K-8 public school academy chartered by WISD that was intentionally designed to provide students with disabilities the opportunity to learn in an environment near their general education peers.
How does the ballot language read?
WASHTENAW INTERMEDIATE SCHOOL DISTRICT BONDING PROPOSAL
Shall Washtenaw Intermediate School District, Michigan, borrow the sum of not to exceed Fifty-Three Million Two Hundred Ninety-Five Thousand Dollars ($53,295,000) and issue its general obligation unlimited tax bonds therefore for the purpose of: erecting, furnishing and equipping a new High Point School as an addition to the pool and gymnasium portions of the existing building; remodeling, equipping and re-equipping and furnishing and refurnishing the pool and gymnasium portions of the existing building; purchasing and installing information technology systems equipment and software; and preparing, developing, improving and equipping playgrounds and the site?
How much would be generated from the bond?
The bond would generate approximately $53.295 million, which would directly go towards a new High Point School.
What kind of renovations are envisioned?
The current plan is to tear down a portion of the current facility, while maintaining, yet renovating, the existing gymnasium and pool space. We envision a building that still promotes an inclusive learning environment where students with disabilities continue learning near their general education peers.
How much would it cost to construct a new building around the gym and pool?
In order to keep the existing gymnasium and pool and then construct a new building around these existing structures, it is estimated to cost approximately $53.295 million. This estimate includes:
How much would it cost to just maintain the building as it currently is?
If we keep the current building and solely renovated the infrastructure and mechanical needs of High Point School, it would cost approximately $18 million. However, this building was constructed for a completely different student population who did not have the same physical or cognitive disabilities as today's High Point students. This kind of renovation would not allow us to change elements of the building that limit students and staff.
What happens if the bond does not pass?
If the bond does not pass, then significant renovations will still need to be made to High Point School. As noted, these renovations would cost approximately $18 million and would be necessary for High Point to continue operating. In order to cover these renovation costs, WISD would need to utilize funds from the Special Education operating millage. Using operating funds to pay for the cost of capital improvements reduces the amount of special education dollars available to reimburse local districts for the cost of mandatory special education services, thereby requiring a greater contribution from each district's general fund to cover these costs.
How would this financial impact homeowners?
Market Value Taxable Value Cost Annually
$100,000 $50,000 $18.50
$150,000 $75,000 $27.75
$200,000 $100,000 $37.00
$300,000 $150,000 $55.50
Who is eligible to vote in the election?
Registered voters who reside in the school districts of Ann Arbor, Chelsea, Dexter, Lincoln, Manchester, Milan, Saline, Whitmore Lake, and Ypsilanti.
Where do I vote?
Vote at the same precinct where you vote in general elections. Polls will be open from 7:00 a.m.-8:00 p.m. If you are unable to vote in person, absentee ballot applications are available through your township, city, or county clerk offices. Please click here for more information.
How can I stay up-to-date about the bond proposal?
Please consider signing up for our e-newsletter, which will provide important updates and information about the bond proposal. You can sign up here.
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