New WHS pool bond issue prospects look more likely

Members of the Wayland High School Jazz Band, under the leadership of Kelly Tilley Smith, performed a special arrangement of “Greensleeves” for the Board of Education.

It’s getting more likely all the time that the Wayland Board of Education will seek a bond issue sometime in 2022 to finance construction of a new swimming pool.

Superintendent Dr. Christina Hinds told board members Monday night that the most cost effective dates for having such an election would be either in May or during the November general election. She also noted that a new pool would cost at least $25 million and couples with other projects, the price tag could be as high as $50,000.

Providing even more impetus for the move was the fact the current structure, which is more than 45 years old, was down for repairs again last month and now will be up and running again Wednesday.

The pool was installed the same year the high school opened in 1974, and it has become more of a problem than an asset. Besides its many troubles functioning properly, it can’t be used for interscholastic dual meets or invitationals unless certain adjustments are made at the starting blocks.

Board Vice President Pete Zondervan, during discussion of board committee appointments, suggested the finance committee deliberations be held as a committee of the whole so all board members can participate and learn what developments are occurring.

In other business Monday evening, the board:

• Was told by President Dan Casini that Hinds received an “effective” rating in her evaluation. She has been superintendent at Wayland only since July 1, 2020.

• Decided to oppose a policy proposal to limit public comment at meetings collectively to 30 minutes. Trustee Becky Hohnke said, “We are obligated to listen to everyone in our community” and urged the policy to remain as three minutes per speaker.

• Learned from Assistant Superintendent Patricia Velie that vandals ruined one of the wrestling mats. Insurance will handle the loss, but a replacement won’t be available for several months.

• Was told by Hinds that a new school bus driver will begin duties soon and another has just started the process of getting certified. She commented, “This is huge because of the shortage of bus drivers.”

• Learned that survey of local parents, residents and students is planned to get input on how casino com pact fund are spent.

• Heard presentations by Hohnke, Theresa Dobry, Toni Ordway, Zondervan and Jason Shane about their recent participation in Michigan Association of School Board meetings. Zondervan indicated he is very concerned about public schools’ funding being replaced by private funding via vouchers.

• Was told by Hinds that the administration still is awaiting results of lab tests on the drink that was served and sickened some students at the homecoming dance a couple of months ago. She also noted that the local district is still waiting for the arrival of a Health Resource Advocate from the Allegan County Health Department.

• Learned that Velie put in a bid on a parcel of land for sale on 133rd Avenue, but withdrew after determining the cost was too steep.

Leave a Comment