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numstead

Grand Rapids Public Schools

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I haven't seen anything in this forum about the new construction projects that the Grand Rapids Public Schools are working on, so I thought I'd start this thread.

new buildings opening this fall that I know of include...

Alger Park Middle School - URS

Henry Elementary - TPTA

Sibley Elementary - Progressive

In the works...

Dickinson Elementary - BETA

Burton Elementary -

Madison Park -

I've got pictures of some of these projects, but I'll get to them later.

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Palmer is also being worked on. It is to be complete before Christmas.

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Great Pictures golscorer :thumbsup: Thanks for sharing.

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Damn, that almost makes me wish I could go back to school. O_O

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Here are some new pics from Henry School.

204993856_4696ef65a8.jpg

204993858_9e18f3a4b9.jpg

204993859_dbd6912462.jpg

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That should make for an interesting learning experience! Are any of these buildings GREEN built?

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Just curious. Though I'm glad to see new construction activity on GRPS's part, where's the money comming from? If the district is struggling, how can they afford the new buildings?

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How is the quality of education in the Grand Rapids Public School System compared to the surround Catholic School System?

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How is the quality of education in the Grand Rapids Public School System compared to the surround Catholic School System?

I'm sure that's pretty subjective.

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Just curious. Though I'm glad to see new construction activity on GRPS's part, where's the money comming from? If the district is struggling, how can they afford the new buildings?

They passed a millage a couple of years back that was specifically earmarked for new construction and building improvements. So thats where all this dough is coming from. Seems kind of stupid though considering some schools can't afford to supply books for students and yet they are bulding these million dollar facilities just down the street.

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Just curious. Though I'm glad to see new construction activity on GRPS's part, where's the money comming from? If the district is struggling, how can they afford the new buildings?

There was a bond proposal that was passed by the taxpayers back in 2004 to fund all the construction and renovations:

http://web.grps.k12.mi.us/facilities/news.html

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That should make for an interesting learning experience! Are any of these buildings GREEN built?

Some of our early buildings were not built LEED certified, however incredible work was done to ensure that they are environmentally friendly, energy efficient buildings. People should note the roof top garden on the Henry building. Overall it is an incredible learning environment. Our newest buildings however will be LEED certified.

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They passed a millage a couple of years back that was specifically earmarked for new construction and building improvements. So thats where all this dough is coming from. Seems kind of stupid though considering some schools can't afford to supply books for students and yet they are bulding these million dollar facilities just down the street.

Actually GRPS did not pass the millage, the voters in Grand Rapids passed the millage. I am sure you do not believe that because GRPS supposedly cannot afford books (which is not true) we should not build state of the art buildings for our students?

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They passed a millage a couple of years back that was specifically earmarked for new construction and building improvements. So thats where all this dough is coming from. Seems kind of stupid though considering some schools can't afford to supply books for students and yet they are bulding these million dollar facilities just down the street.

Tax exempt bonds and taxes (funding methods for government bodies) MUST be used for exactly what they were originally levied for. Diverting monies for other non-related uses is illegal, and the uses of these monies are audited annually. A surplus of monies in one area of a school district does not allow for the redirecting of funds to an area that has a shortage of funds.

This does bring up an interesting side-point, though...there are going to be some beautiful new schools in the Grand Rapids area; however, with operating funds being squeezed dry, these new buildings, which are often larger than the ones being replaced, will be a shock to the utilities bills for the district. I have worked with school districts in the past, and I have yet to see one that properly budgeted for utilities at a newly built facility...

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I would guess that the old buildings weren't exactly energy efficient, and were costly to maintain as well.

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Actually GRPS did not pass the millage, the voters in Grand Rapids passed the millage. I am sure you do not believe that because GRPS supposedly cannot afford books (which is not true) we should not build state of the art buildings for our students?

GRPS originally proposed the bond issue that was later passed. I just found it curious that they can propose a bond issue to build huge brand new schools while others can hardly afford to provide basic needs for their students.

And it is true that many of the schools lack the basic supplies. I have a friend who teaches in the GRPS and is forced to make all her photo copies at the beginning of the school year because once the paper supply runs out, they cannot afford to buy more.

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Tax exempt bonds and taxes (funding methods for government bodies) MUST be used for exactly what they were originally levied for. Diverting monies for other non-related uses is illegal, and the uses of these monies are audited annually. A surplus of monies in one area of a school district does not allow for the redirecting of funds to an area that has a shortage of funds.

I am aware of this. My question is why doesn't the GRPS propose a bond issue in order to supplement its operating budget? Would this even pass? Have they done this in the recent past?

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Actually since Prop A quite a few years back now, school districts cannot use property tax millages for general operating funds.

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I didn't realize that each new school building was designed by a different local firm. This was intentional, I suppose? Were area firms asked to bid on projects or were they commissioned?

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I am aware of this. My question is why doesn't the GRPS propose a bond issue in order to supplement its operating budget? Would this even pass? Have they done this in the recent past?

Because it's illegal and has been for years.

Operating budgets cannot be funded by millages (tax increases).

This is the root of the public school funding crisis (yes, crisis) in Michigan. If you cannot ask the populace for more money, and your funding increases at a rate drastically slower than inflation, you eventually get a funding crisis.

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Not sure if this is a legitimate idea or not, but do public schools ever have endowments like public colleges do? Grand Rapids philanthropists are already doing a phenomenal job of aiding the city relating to all of the medical development going on around downtown, as well as the building boom for area colleges (especially GVSU). However, how difficult would it be to start a fund for GRPS that would supplement its operating funds received from the state? $10mil endowment would peel off $500,000 a year or more in aide, which would be a HUGE boon for the district...

It sure would be nice to garner the interest of the Gates Foundation, similar to what NYC and San Diego have seen...

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Not sure if this is a legitimate idea or not, but do public schools ever have endowments like public colleges do? Grand Rapids philanthropists are already doing a phenomenal job of aiding the city relating to all of the medical development going on around downtown, as well as the building boom for area colleges (especially GVSU). However, how difficult would it be to start a fund for GRPS that would supplement its operating funds received from the state? $10mil endowment would peel off $500,000 a year or more in aide, which would be a HUGE boon for the district...

It sure would be nice to garner the interest of the Gates Foundation, similar to what NYC and San Diego have seen...

I thought I heard that East Grand Rapids Public Schools received Gates Foundation money a few years ago. Is this correct and how did they do it?

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