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Residents to decide Gwinn schools bond proposal next month

GWINN, MI— The Gwinn Area Community Schools District has a bond proposal on the November 7th ballot.

The district wants to borrow $45.55 million, which translates into 4.43 mills over 30 years.

Middle/high school principal Brad Pfluger says most of the funds will be used to construct a K-5 facility attached to the high school. He says the two current elementary schools are about eight miles apart and are more than 60 years old.

An analysis of what it would cost to fix the current elementary school buildings indicated the cost was similar to the expense of building a new K-5 facility.

“The cost to fix up the old buildings was around $41 million. The cost for all these renovations is $45 million. And the advantages of running one complex, one building, as opposed to three would obviously have some cost savings to it.”

Some of the funding would also be used to remodel the Career and Tech Education wing at the high school, create a space for business and entrepreneurship classes, and renovate science classrooms, some of which don’t have running water.

Pfluger notes the funding would also allow officials to create a two-layer entry system for the buildings, heightening safety protocols.

Pfluger says residents are currently paying 1.5 mills on a sinking fund. That is set to expire, so if the bond proposal passes, residents will only feel an increase of 2.93 mills.

Nicole was born near Detroit but has lived in the U.P. most of her life. She graduated from Marquette Senior High School and attended Michigan State and Northern Michigan Universities, graduating from NMU in 1993 with a degree in English.