The editor of this on-line community news service apologizes most sincerely for occasionally spreading misinformation about the Aug. 2 Wayland Union School bond proposal for a new swim pool.
The editor has erroneously asserted on several occasions that Wayland voters never have approved a ballot question for a new pool on its own. However, in the 50 Years Ago section of the latest “Bygone Days” historical column, the editor himself was compelled to pass along this information —“Voters approved, 850 to 768, a proposal for a swimming pool and auditorium to be added to the new high school.”
Meanwhile, Patricia Velie, assistant superintendent for finances and operations, has been spearheading an effort to build a new pool and secure a few repairs to other buildings in the district.
The $48.5 million bond proposal will appear on the Tuesday, Aug. 2, primary election ballot, “focusing on improved learning environments and technology in all school buildings, upgrades to Career Tech spaces, a new pool for district and community use, larger instructional space for Fine Arts programming, and upgraded mat room for athletics.”
Velie has raised more than a view eyebrows of the public by insisting that approving the bond issue will not increase debt mills because property values have increased steadily. Annual debt mills will remain at 8.4 mills, which equates to no increase to the taxpayer over a period of 25 years, 10 months.
“The district is taking advantage of the growth to access these project funds,” Velie maintained. “The 8.4 mills will remain the same if the bond proposal is approved or not.”
The difference will be in the length of the annual debt obligation.
Here is a summary of the projects:
• Windows and doors
• Improved Learning Environments
• Updated furnishings and technology in all buildings
• Updated restroom facilities (at Pine, Baker, Dorr, Steeby elementaries)
• Middle School roof repairs/replacement and window and exterior door replacement (older wings).
Career Tech Opportunities
• Upgrades to current wood and auto shops at the high school
• Improved spaces for Robotics, STEM, automation and CAD lab.
Fine Arts Improvements at WHS
• Create larger space for band and orchestra to accommodate increasing class sizes using existing pool space
• Allow choir to move into existing band/orchestra room
• More room for instrument and uniform storage.
New Pool for District, Community Use
• Current pool is beyond its “useful life” (48 years old)
• The diving and swimming areas are too shallow to accommodate MHSAA swim meets
• A new pool would be used for athletics, elementary physical education, swim lessons and general community use
• New design would make it easy for both young and elderly access entry (featuring a zero entry pool-no steps-ease of access).
Athletic Program Upgrades
• Restore the mat room for youth wrestling practice, cheer practice area, community education classes
• Athletic field improvements to repair the grass varsity soccer fields due to drainage system deterioration (the fields are the only ones available for all athletics in the City (AYSO, intramurals, etc.)
• Existing locker room space will be remodeled into public restrooms and changing area for the current fitness center.
The deadline to register to vote by mail is Monday, July 18, for the August 2, 2022 election. Voters also may register in person July 19 through 8 p.m.Tuesday, Aug. 2, 2022 (Election Day) with the local clerk with proof of residency.
Absentee ballots are available June 23 through Aug.1. Polls will be open at 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 2.
For more information, please visit the district web site at www.waylandunion.org or contact Assistant Superintendent of Finance & Operations Pat Velie at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (269) 792-2181.