Frequently Asked Questions
Q1. Who developed the scope of this bond proposal?
The scope of this bond was developed by staff and community members attending 22 different focus groups and considering over 500 respondents to surveys.
Q2. What factors did staff and community members consider when developing the scope of this bond proposal?
Our community is growing, causing our student enrollment to increase. District facilities are at capacity. This fall, the Tia M. Peterson Library will be turned into a classroom at Oakridge Lower Elementary. Kids will check out books from shelves in the hallway. A cubicle will be placed in the hall, and closets will be claimed to provide office space for support staff. Space constraints will also cause a K-6 special education program to be relocated to a lightly renovated locker room at the Upper Elementary. Meanwhile, middle and high school athletes will continue to have practice sessions until 9:30 p.m. or later due to lack of gym space. Many classroom heating units need replacement, roof sections are at the end of their useful lifespan, and our auditorium stage area is not handicap-accessible with poor lighting.
Q3. Will local workers be used to construct or renovate the projects?
Qualified local contractors will be encouraged to bid on the projects. The most affordable, qualified bidders will be selected. Local contractors may also have opportunities to partner with larger firms that routinely bid on large scale, commercial projects. We commonly use local contractors in day to day operations of facilities management.
Q4. What has been done to address needs before putting a bond proposal on the ballot?
We’ve done a lot to help Oakridge families.
- This is our second year in a row to save families $700 per child per year through a Federal grant allowing for FREE breakfast and lunch to all K-12 Oakridge students.
- We have been awarded the Federal 21st Century Learning Centers Grant ($1,350,000) which is helping fund the upcoming summer and after school programs for Upper Elementary and Middle School students.
- The Michigan State Police Safety Grant ($250,000) is helping the district improve the safety and security of our facilities for students. Several projects funded include the following:
- Installed bullet-resistant glass at all entries,
- Expanded number of speakers for intercom announcements so all employees and kids can hear emergency communication,
- Replaced old insecure doors,
- Installed door barricade devices on ever classroom district-wide.
- Upgrade phone system to allow any employee to announce an emergency through the PA system.
- The Regional Enhancement Millage for Technology and Safety/Security has improved student learning through our 1:1 student: device ratio giving all kids modern access to technology and the internet. Soon, we’ll be improving student pedestrian safety by reducing Wolf Lake road crossings by expanding parking at Upper Elementary. And, we intend to secure our school buses on school property (Carr Building) with gated access and safe walkways for drivers to access the buses.
- Community donors have contributed to the replacement of the artificial turf on Jack Schugars Field Field in Russell A. Erickson Stadium improving player safety and increasing community use of the stadium.
- A community donor funded new Stadium restrooms.
- We’re utilizing an innovative method to fund over $2,000,000 in facility improvements through energy-saving Performance Contracting. Through this creative financing approach, the following projects will be funded through reduced energy (gas/electric) consumption:
- new air handling units in the Middle School auditorium and gymnasium,
- a new boiler at Lower Elementary,
- new heating units for classrooms at Lower Elementary,
- new LED lighting with occupancy sensors district-wide,
- improve insulation for energy efficiency,
- more projects are in development as we proceed through the RFP process
- This funding approach effectively reduced the size and scope of the Bond Proposal, therefore, lessening the impact on taxpayers.
Q5. When will the projects be completed if the bond passes?
Newly constructed classrooms would likely be able to be occupied the fall of 2021 but perhaps fall of 2022 depending on the construction market.
Q6. Why is a new high school auxiliary gym in the bond proposal scope?
Currently, student-athletes can be found practicing later than 9:30 pm because there is not enough gym space to accommodate scheduled team practices. With increasing enrollment, we desire to offer additional teams and sports. We do not have enough facility space to accommodate future expansion of opportunities for kids.
Q7. Why is a new lower elementary gymnasium in the bond proposal scope?
Oakridge Lower Elementary has the largest student count of any building in the district and is the only building that uses the gym as their cafeteria. Increasing enrollment is causing longer breakfast and lunch periods that take longer to clean up. This is interfering with instructional time for physical education each morning and afternoon. The gymnasium is also used as an auditorium. It is no longer large enough to fit a grade level worth of students with their parents for fine arts or holiday performances. The number of kids at Lower Elementary can’t even fit in the Middle School Auditorium.
Q8. When is the last day to register to vote for the November election?
You can register to vote as late as Tuesday, November 5, the day of the election. Just bring this completed form to the Clerk’s Office in Egelston, Cedar Creek, or Bridgeton Township, depending on your residency. Click here to visit the Secretary of State’s website for simple instructions on registering.
Q9. When can I vote?
If you haven’t already voted absentee, polls will be open 7 am to 8 pm on Tuesday, November 5, 2019.
Q10. Is it true that anyone can vote absentee for any reason?
Yes. The law has changed allowing anyone to vote absentee for any reason. Click here to download the Absentee Voter Registration form and turn it into the Egelston, Cedar Creek, or Bridgeton Township Clerk’s Office, pending your residency. For additional information on Absentee Voting, visit the Secretary of State’s website. Absentee voter ballots must be available to the electorate no later than September 21. You can register to vote absentee and vote as late as November 5, the day of the election, at your Township Clerk’s office.
Q11. I thought the master facilities assessment completed in 2015 identified more than $30 million of need in the district.
That is correct. However, staff and community who developed the scope felt it was important to keep this Bond Proposal affordable to taxpayers. The District has also pursued several other alternative funding sources to improve facilities and programs for kids. See Question 4 above.