Board of Education » Bond Proposal 2023 FAQ

Bond Proposal 2023 FAQ

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May 2023 Bond Proposal | Frequently Asked Questions

How did this bond election come about?


There have been several discussions in recent years regarding updating and improving our facilities for our students. Our current building and site fund has been great for taking care of some of our highest maintenance needs like parking lots and roofing, however, we have other large infrastructure projects that we cannot handle with current funding alone.

The board decided that now is the time for these improvements to be addressed and directed the administration and consultants to present those ideas to the community for input and feedback. The overwhelming response has been very positive, as a result, we will place a bond proposal before the community on May 2, 2023.


Why Now?

    • Our facilities are well maintained but require some major infrastructure replacements.
    • The existing Sinking Fund alone cannot address major projects
    • Our new Strategic Plan includes facility improvements
    • We are asking for "needs" not "wants"
    • Goal - Minimize the tax impact on Coloma residents

 What has been accomplished with the Sinking Fund?

To date, we have spent $2.56 million of the Sinking Fund on critical improvements throughout the district. We expect to use less than $5 million of the 10-year Sinking Fund approved by the community. Recent improvements covered by the Sinking Fund include:
    • Some mechanical and electrical improvements 
    • Repairs to the Alwood Gym and High School Roof
    • Interior finishes, including high school gym hallway, painting high school lockers and new toilet partitions at the Junior High School
    • New pavement and repairs to the parking lots at the elementary, intermediate, and high school
    • Purchase and installation of security cameras across the district

How has community input been incorporated into the projects?


The Board of Education hired Owen-Ames-Kimball Co. and TowerPinkster to assist with studying our site and facility needs and providing options. These two firms have worked with us for several years and have implemented several projects for us. Several planning meetings were held reviewing options to address our needs. The culmination of that process was to gather community feedback. There have been four community forums during the summer of 2022 where input was solicited, and ideas were then incorporated into the plans. There was a great turnout for these events. A community survey was also sent out in September 2022 and 238 residents took the time to provide ideas and comments. These suggestions were also analyzed and incorporated, where applicable. The community involvement has been largely positive and supportive.


What is being included in the Bond?

Most of the items are upgrades to current building systems and infrastructure that are getting beyond its useful life, including:
    • windows and doors
    • ceilings and floors
    • LED Lighting
    • mechanical equipment and energy controls
    • paving and sidewalks
    • playground improvements
    • technology infrastructure
    • athletic improvements
    • toilet room upgrades
    • security locks
    • cabinets
    • boilers and controls
    • electrical panels
    • furnishings


We are also recommending a community & student center addition to the Intermediate School and a new toilet room building at the baseball/soccer facility.

It is anticipated that these improvements will put our school district in good shape for the future.


How much is the bond amount?


The bond is for $28,250,000. The millage rate will be raised 0.99 mills and will be paid back over 25 years. This will cost an owner of a $100,000 market rate home $49.50 per year or less than $5 per month. A tax calculator will also be located on the website so that  each resident can calculate their own individual amount in privacy.

Sample tax information. Follow the link above for a tax calculator.

Will air conditioning be included? 

Yes. We are adding new mechanical ventilation units with air conditioning to the high school and elementary school classrooms. Research has proven that this improves a child’s ability to learn, removes humidity and improves the Indoor Air Quality (IAQ).

Will the new community center facility be available to the public?

Yes, the new gym and multi-purpose building at the Intermediate School will offer controlled access for the public, while not allowing access to the Intermediate School building. Access to the new facility  will be coordinated through the school district. The following are a few  of the ways that this building could benefit the Coloma community:
    • Before and after school practice and weekends
    • Physical Education for our Intermediate School students during the school day
    • Community events by appointment like: senior citizens gatherings, wedding showers and receptions, booster events, staff professional development
    • Youth League practices, when not in use for school activities. 

 Why is the old High School and Alwood Gym being demolished?

This building has served us well for many years, but it does not function well for modern teaching and learning. Only the gym has been in use and based on community input, the School Board is recommending replacement of the gym with a modern space that will accommodate both school districtand community needs.
The following is the rationale for demolition:
    • Existing rooms do not support modern learning
    • High maintenance needs - non-insulated walls and roof
    • Not barrier-free accessible - some areas are difficult to access
    • A fitness center will benefit students and community
    • All students will have access to better physical education facilities
    • Our community will have access with a public entrance and barrier-free toliets
    • Connecting the facility to our intermediate school will enhance safety
    • Improved parking areas
    • More site devoted to Intermediate School use (smaller footprint)

 Why How will the district commemorate the old High School and Alwood Gym ?

Coloma Community Schools is proud of its rich and storied history and continually looks to celebrate our past. To that end, we are committed to honoring the memory of our old high school and Alwood Gym so that future generations have an ongoing connection to previous classes. We are currently putting together recommendations on how we can incorporate pieces from the old high school and gym into our existing facilities and how we share the story of our past with the community. We welcome recommendations from the community, so please do not hesitate to contact the district office with your suggestions. 

How will staff input be included in the plans?

The current plans contain the quantity and type of spaces required for  our students; however, the detailed staff input and planning for each space will take place after the bond issue is passed.

What athletic improvements are included?

The running track at the stadium will be replaced with a new surface. There will be new toilet rooms and a plaza area will be added at the baseball /soccer stadium and the existing press box will be renovated.

 Are technology improvements included?

Yes. Funds will be dedicated to upgrading the network to support our students and staff as well as continue our 1-to-1 initiative.

Will new furniture be included?

Yes, at our elementary and high school a majority of the furnishings need replacement as we are currently using furniture throughout our  schools that is decades old.

Will inflation affect these budgets?


Inflation has certainly been a factor the last few years. The most recent forecast is that inflation will be lower and labor and material prices will also stabilize. We have incorporated escalation and contingency dollars into our planning process.

How will we know that we are getting competitive pricing on our projects?

By State of Michigan law, all projects need to be advertised publicly and competitively bid. Bids are awarded to the lowest qualified contractors inseveral bid categories. This ensures that we are getting the best pricing and qualified contractors to work on our projects.


Are these projects an economic benefit to our community?

Yes, these projects will bring dozens of workers into the Coloma community, and they will frequently visit our shops, restaurants and gas stationsover the course of several years. There will also be an opportunity for local construction trade companies to bid on this work.

Furthermore, local schools are the heart of any community and when  we have quality schools, it can be an attractive draw for potential homeowners and can have a positive effect on property values.