By David Fleet
Goodrich- On Aug. 4, school district voters approved a $20,930,000 bond extension proposal. As of Thursday morning the vote was Genesee County Yes 1,748/No 1,638; Lapeer County Yes 171/No 177 and Oakland County Yes 21/No 16—Total: Yes 1,940/No 1,831.
“I’m very happy for Goodrich Schools and the support of this community—the students will benefit for many years,” said Greg Main, school board president. “The passage is a great first step in addressing the infrastructure needs and to keep our schools at a top level. The bond extension is so vital especially now, given the challenging world we live in today. The funding will help us as soon as this fall when we go back to school. It’s a great day for Goodrich schools.”
The bond will not increase taxes rather extend the debt out until about 2030.
Following an extensive facilities and condition assessment study of school district buildings last summer that total $45.9 million in upgrades, $26.5 million or 57 percent were recognized as critical within the next 1-3 years.
“People are believing in education here in Goodrich,” said Wayne Wright, district superintendent following Tuesday’s vote. “We appreciate the support of the community and are looking for what the district drastically needs,” said Wayne Wright, district superintendent. “It’s not a pretty bond issue. But, it’s getting us the essentials—the nice thing is the gymnasium at Oaktree which they drastically need. Right now the gymnasium (at Oaktree) is also the lunch room. Thus, it shuts down and they can’t have classes there for a period of time. With the new gymnasium in place additional room would be created for a ‘Makers Space’ at Oaktree.”
In the August primary, 25 school districts had bond proposals, the results were not complete as of press time. However, locally Goodrich was one of six school funding proposals. Of the six, two Durand Area School bonding proposals were defeated. Statewide, in the May election 15 school bonds passed including four in Genesee County including Grand Blanc Schools with $86,925,000. Six bonds failed statewide in the May election.
The last bond Goodrich passed was February 2011 when school district voters approved a $15.4 million bond extension to be used for educational facilities, technology, athletics and energy upgrades.
Some of the projects for the 2020 bond extension will include roofing, asphalt and technology. Also, the middle school and high school entrance off Gale Road, will have a new vestibules for security. Reid will have a new water well and roof. In addition, about $3 million is needed for technology will be included.
“We put a plan in place to go over the next 20 years,” he said. “We’ll be looking at a sinking fund in the near future and possibly another bond issue 8-10 years down the road.”
According to an audit by Lewis & Knopf for the 2018-19 fiscal year ending June 30, the district ended with a fund balance of 13 percent or $2,561,433 up from 11 percent or $2,295,498, at the end of the 2017-18 fiscal year.
The district added to the fund balance by $265,935 the fifth consecutive year of increases to the schools coffers. The district fund balance has rallied from a low of $1,336,529 in the 2013-14 school year.
Wright said the district will refinance some previous bond issues.
By David Fleet