What we don't want is people vote "no" just because that's what they've done in the past," explains Vote Yes Northwest bond committee co-chair Pat Doher.
The district has failed four proposals in the past. This one is different, both in content and in the way they've gone about it. They held community forums to discover what voters wanted from a bond. They discovered they'd rather build a new high school than expand old buildings, and so the bond asks for $57.3 million, about $52 million of which will go to the new building.
The campaigns included TV commercials in support of a "yes" vote, yard signs, mass mailing, brochures; the district superintendent even went door-to-door. They say they've spent thousands of donated dollars to convince voters to spend the tens of millions of dollars here.
The issue is overcrowding. Both the middle and high school are about 300 students over capacity. They've built portable classrooms, but co-chair Greg Wait says, "This is more permanent than what we wanted then to be."
The proposed solution: a brand new high school on land next to the old one, and a reshuffling district-wide. One of the three elementary schools, Flora List Elementary, would move to the middle school. The middle school would go to the high school, and the high school to the new property. That leaves room for a senior center in the middle school and administrative offices at Flora List elementary as well.
"It also gives us a chance to equip everyone with better technology," Wait says.
The bond would cost a homeowner with a $100,000 property $320 a year. For info on cost to others and more on the proposal, see www.nsd.k12.mi.us.