What is the most appropriate investment to make in our preschool through 8th-grade facilities long-term?

How do we ensure a safe, equitable, and engaging learning experience for all students?

Between now and May 5, 2020, this page will continue to expand to reflect the questions of our community.  If you have a question about Bond 2020, please reach out using the "Let's Chat!" feature.

Frequently Asked Questions Bloomfield Hills Schools Bond 2020

What were the focus areas of the Scope & Design work?


  • Safety & Security
  • Building Configurations
  • Instructional & Support Spaces
  • Unique and Specialized Programming
  • Shared Community Spaces
The committee was able to deeply discuss building configurations and safety and security, but did not dive as deep into the other areas. More time will be needed for these focus areas as planning continues forward.




Who facilitated the Scope & Design work?


  • Todd Bidlack, Assistant Superintendent, Learning Services
  • Kimberly Hempton, Director, Learning Services
  • Sarah Fairman, Director, Learning Services
  • Brian Goby, Director, Physical Plant Services
  • Jason Rubel, Principal, EHMS
  • Rebecca Anders, Supervisor, Wing Lake
  • Andy Gignac, Associate Principal, WHMS




Who are the "strategic partners"?


Supporting the work are our Strategic Partners:

  • Barton Malow: Daryl Dombrow, Senior Project Manager, has 19 years of experience in operations, project and program management for Michigan area school districts. His entire career has been spent building, renovating, and maintaining school facilities.
  • French Associates: Paul A. Corneliussen, AIA Executive Vice President has a diverse background with over 30 years of experience in the planning and design of educational facilities. He has been a partner with Bloomfield schools for over 19 years and has recently facilitated to conceptual planning efforts for the 2020 Bond vision.
  • Plante Moran: Paul Wills, AIA, LEED AP has a diverse background with over 18 years of experience in the design and construction fields with emphasis in the corporate and public sectors.




What were the building configuration considerations?


  • Maximize program opportunities for all students
  • Utilize facilities to their fullest potential
  • Meet the instructional and developmental needs for all children at various stages of their growth
  • Consider enrollment size as appropriate at each school




How many configuration models were reviewed or discussed?


In total, at least six configurations were thoroughly researched and discussed prior to selecting the leading option. The final model emerged as a result of the deep and thoughtful conversations and research of the entire committee.




What has the district previously asked of voters?


Bond Requests:

  • June 1961: Pool: Fail
  • June 1962: Pool: Fail
  • June 1963: Pool: Fail
  • June 1964: Facilities: Pass
  • April 1966: Facilities: Pass
  • Feb. 1978: School Reno: Pass
  • Sept. 1988: Facilities: Pass
  • January 1990: Tech/Facilities: Fail
  • Sept. 1997: Tech/Facilities: Pass
  • May 2007: High School: Fail
  • November 2010: High School: Fail
  • May 2012: High School: Pass
Sinking Fund History:
  • May 2004, 10 years through 2013, beginning at 1.5 mils
  • November 2010, 5 years, 2014 through 2018, beginning at .74 mils
  • May 2018 (a year early), 6 years, replacing 2018 and through 2023, beginning at .7165 mils*
*Sinking Fund millage is also capital related. The district requested a 6-year "renewal" (replacement) in May 2018 that brings in approximately $2.5 million annually for routine repairs, minor renovation, technology, and security.




What was the configuration of the district in 1970?


In 1970, the district had 11 elementary schools that fed into three middle schools. The three middle schools fed into two high schools. The schools served approximately 10,000 students. The schools open in 1970 were: Feeding East Hills Junior High:

  • Eastover
  • Fox Hills
  • Hickory Grove
  • Traub (the building currently used by the IA)
Feeding Bloomfield Hills Junior High:
  • Way
  • Wing Lake
  • Conant
  • Vaughn
  • Booth
Feeding West Hills Junior High:
  • Lone Pine
  • Pine Lake
East Hills Junior High fed Lahser High School. West Hills Junior High fed Andover High School. Bloomfield Hills Junior High was split and fed both Andover and Lahser.




What is the current configuration in 2020?


  • Eastover Elementary students attend East Hills Middle School. Eastover serves students in grades K-3. East Hills serves students in grades 4-8.
  • Lone Pine Elementary students attend West Hills Middle School. Lone Pine serves students in grades K-3. West Hills serves students in grades 4-8.
  • Conant Elementary School and Way Elementary School students attend Bloomfield Hills Middle School. Conant and Way serve students in grades K-4. Bloomfield Hills Middle School serves students in grades 5-8.
  • The district has one comprehensive high school, Bloomfield Hills High School, which serves students in grades 9-12.
  • Some High School students choose to attend the International Academy, a consortium International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme school, which is currently housed in the Traub building (the building currently used by the IA).
  • Some High School students attend Bowers Academy, an alternative high school, which is housed in the main building at Bowers School Farm.




What is the official ballot language?


SCHOOL IMPROVEMENT BOND PROPOSAL Shall the Bloomfield Hills Schools, County of Oakland, State of Michigan, borrow the sum of not to exceed Two Hundred Million One Hundred Fifty-Five Thousand Dollars ($200,155,000) and issue its general obligation unlimited tax bonds, in one or more series, for the purpose of paying for the cost of the following projects: • Erecting, completing, equipping and furnishing additions to school buildings and other facilities which include multi-purpose gymnasium/cafeteria and auditorium/cafeteria rooms, classrooms, secure entryways, a natatorium, and athletic facility additions;
• Remodeling, equipping, re-equipping, furnishing, re-furnishing school buildings, athletic fields, playgrounds and other facilities;
• Acquiring, preparing, developing and improving sites for school buildings, athletic fields, playgrounds and other facilities;
• Erecting, completing, equipping and furnishing a new transp01iation/maintenance/warehouse center and the purchase of school buses; and
• Acquiring and installing instructional technology infrastructure and equipment in school buildings and other facilities? YES _____ NO _____ The maximum number of years any series of bonds may be outstanding, exclusive of refunding, is not more than thirty (30) years; the estimated millage that will be levied to pay the proposed bonds in the first year is 1.85 mills (which is equal to $1.85 per $1,000 of taxable value); and the estimated simple average annual millage that will be required to retire each series of bonds is 2.16 mills annually ($2.16 per $1,000 of taxable value). (Pursuant to State law, expenditure of bond proceeds must be audited, and the proceeds cannot be used for teacher, administrator or employee salaries, repair or maintenance costs or other operating expenses.)




Where can I see questions and responses that have been asked by the community so far?


View the questions submitted by the BHS community, and the response of the district.




What information was provided during the Master Property Planning process?


Please view this presentation, which represents the information discussed during Master Property Planning.




When is the election?


Tuesday, May 5, 2020. The polls will be open from 7 a.m. until 8 p.m. Absentee ballots will be available after March 21, 2020 and can be cast through Election Day.




What is on the ballot?


A $200,155,000 bond proposal is on the ballot.




What is the primary purpose of the bond proposal?


Safety & Security

  • Construct Secure Entries
  • Improve Traffic Patterns
  • Install Window Safety Film
  • Install Fire Sprinkler Systems
  • Install Video Surveillance
  • Install Visitor Management Systems
  • Upgrade Entrance Intercoms
  • Upgrade District Wide Public Address System
Equity & Access
  • Improve ADA Accessibility (barrier-free spaces)
  • Improve ADA Accessible Playgrounds
  • Improve Special Education Learning Spaces
  • Create New Sensory and Therapy Rooms
  • Middle School/Community Education Pool @ North Middle School
  • District Career Exploration Center (STEM, Robotics, etc.) @ North Middle School
  • Farm expansion for new community experiences
  • Nature Center enhancements for new community experiences
  • Grass/park space possibilities
  • Enhanced spaces for family recreation & performances in schools
Support for modern teaching and learning
  • Improve Classroom Environments
  • Install Classroom Interactive Displays & Sound Systems
  • Upgrade Technology Infrastructure
  • Update Architectural Components
  • Improve Lighting & Indoor Air Quality
  • Upgrade and Enhance Media Centers
Innovation & collaboration
  • Create STEM and Collaborative Work Environments
Programming
  • Appropriate spaces for athletic and enrichment programs, such as elementary physical education space improvements, middle & high school field improvements
  • Performance Stages
  • Increased Seating Capacity
  • Improved Art and Music Rooms




What projects will be addressed with bond proposal proceeds?


The proposal calls for action in five general areas, all of which were designed to result in an improved learning environment. The five general areas are:

  1. constructing and equipping additions to schools and other facilities, including flexible spaces for collaboration, classrooms, secure entryways, a pool, and athletic facility additions
  2. remodeling, equipping, and furnishing school buildings,playgrounds, and other teaching and learning spaces
  3. acquiring, preparing, developing, and improving school and school facility sites
  4. erecting, equipping, and furnishing a new transportation/maintenance/warehouse center
  5. acquiring and installing instructional technology infrastructure and equipment in school buildings and other school facilities
While over 200 tasks are included in the bond proposal, changes with direct impact to teaching and learning will be of most importance.




How were the bond proposal projects developed?


To best serve our community’s investment in Bloomfield Hills Schools, our district utilizes a process for ongoing evaluation and monitoring of all school facilities. Working with construction, technology, and architectural specialists, the district’s research into future possibilities began with the Master Property Planning work in 2014. The research completed when a Scope & Design study began in the summer of 2019. This in-depth facility study engaged 25 residents of the district, and included a review of student safety, grade configurations, the educational program, and facility needs. The findings of the Scope & Design group were reviewed by students, staff, families, and community members in a series of focus panels conducted on October 1, 2019. In addition, focus panelists participated in follow-up online surveys during the balance of the Scope and Design process. The Scope & Design process and the Scope & Design recommendations were reviewed by the Board of Education and placed on the May 5, 2020, ballot.




How will the grade levels be reconfigured?


We will use existing schools to become a preschool, K-5, 6-8, 9-12 school district. This standardized reconfiguration will improve learning opportunities across BHS and reflects the priorities recommended in the Scope & Design study. The following are the reconfigurations that will occur:

  • Eastover will serve students in grades K-5 and will be located at the current East Hills Middle School site. Lone Pine will serve students in grades K-5 and will be located at the current West Hills Middle School site. Conant and Way will remain in their current locations and receive renovations and additions to improve their learning spaces.
  • Bloomin’ Preschool locations will exist on both the current Eastover Elementary site and at Conant. Bloomin’ Conant will receive an addition and renovations and Eastover will receive renovations.
  • There will be two middle schools - Bloomfield Hills Middle School North (at the current Lahser site) and Bloomfield Hills Middle School South (at the current Bloomfield Hills Middle School site). To equalize these facilities, the school district will add an auditorium and space for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) programming to Middle School South. At Middle School North, we will add a classroom wing and a swimming pool for student and community use.




What will be the feeder elementary schools for Middle School South and Middle School North?


  • Lone Pine and Conant Elementary students will attend Bloomfield Hills Middle School South (at the current Bloomfield Hills Middle School site).
  • Way and Eastover Elementary students will attend Bloomfield Hills Middle School North (at the current Lahser High School site).




How will the proposed grade reconfiguration enhance the educational program?


Educational programming will be enhanced through:

  • Classrooms becoming Learning Communities
  • Accessibility for cross-level collaboration
  • Offering students more freedom, ownership, and choice
  • Improving Classroom Environments
  • Install Classroom Interactive Displays & Sound Systems
  • Creating STEM and Collaborative Work Environments
  • Upgrading and Enhancing Media Centers




Will there be any bond projects at Bloomfield Hills High School?


Security Upgrades, Roof Replacement, Mechanical Equipment Replacement, Technology Infrastructure, Audio/Visual Systems, West Wing Casework, a Fitness Center will be added to Bloomfield Hills High School, and there will be enhancements in athletic facilities that include a concession stand and adding turf to the baseball and softball fields.




What projects will be completed at each facility if the bond proposal is approved by voters?


Conant Elementary

  • Create Secure Entry Vestibule
  • Security Upgrades
  • Multi-Purpose Room Addition
  • Create STEM/Collaboration Spaces
  • Upgrade and Enhance Media Center
  • Classroom Addition
  • Parking Lot and Bus Loop Reconfiguration
  • Classroom Architectural Improvements
  • Interior and Exterior Lighting Upgrades
  • Mechanical Equipment Replacement
  • Roof Replacement
  • Technology Infrastructure
  • Audio/Visual Systems
  • Update Classroom Technology
  • Furniture Replacement
  • Construct Sensory Room
  • Barrier-Free Playground
Way Elementary
  • Create Secure Entry Vestibule
  • Security Upgrades
  • Multi-Purpose Room Addition
  • Create STEM/Collaboration Spaces
  • Upgrade and Enhance Media Center
  • Classroom Addition
  • Parking Lot and Bus Loop Reconfiguration
  • Classroom Architectural Improvements
  • Interior and Exterior Lighting Upgrades
  • Mechanical Equipment Replacement
  • Roof Replacement
  • Technology Infrastructure
  • Audio/Visual Systems
  • Update Classroom Technology
  • Furniture Replacement
  • Construct Sensory Room
  • Barrier-Free Playground
Eastover Elementary
  • Create Secure Entry Vestibule
  • Parking Lot and Bus Loop Reconfiguration
  • Classroom Architectural Improvements
  • Security Upgrades
  • Roof Replacement
  • Interior and Exterior Lighting Upgrades
  • Mechanical Equipment Replacement
  • Technology Infrastructure
  • Audio/Visual Systems
  • Update Classroom Technology
  • Furniture Replacement
  • Barrier-Free Playground
  • Construct Sensory Room
Lone Pine Elementary
  • Create Secure Entry Vestibule
  • Parking Lot and Bus Loop Reconfiguration
  • Classroom Architectural Improvements
  • Security Upgrades
  • Roof Replacement
  • Interior and Exterior Lighting Upgrades
  • Mechanical Equipment Replacement
  • Technology Infrastructure
  • Audio/Visual Systems
  • Update Classroom Technology
  • Furniture Replacement
  • Barrier-Free Playground
  • Construct Sensory Room
Bloomfield Hills Middle School North
  • Create Secure Entry Vestibule
  • Learning Community Additions
  • Second Floor Addition Prep
  • Cafeteria/Commons Addition
  • Natatorium Addition
  • Renovate Existing Spaces
  • Parking Lot and Bus Loop Reconfiguration
  • Security Upgrades
  • Roof Replacement
  • Interior and Exterior Lighting Upgrades
  • Mechanical Equipment Replacement
  • Technology Infrastructure
  • Audio/Visual Systems
  • Classroom Technology
  • Furniture Replacement
Bloomfield Hills Middle School South
  • Create Secure Entry Vestibule
  • Science Classroom Additions
  • Arts and Auditorium Addition
  • Parking Lot and Bus Loop Reconfiguration
  • Classroom Architectural Improvements
  • Security Upgrades
  • Synthetic Turf Install
  • Roof Replacement
  • Interior and Exterior Lighting Upgrades
  • Mechanical Equipment Replacement
  • Technology Infrastructure
  • Audio/Visual Systems
  • Update Classroom Technology
  • Furniture Replacement
Bloomfield Hills High School
  • Security Upgrades
  • Roof Replacement
  • Mechanical Equipment Replacement
  • Technology Infrastructure
  • Audio/Visual Systems
  • West Wing Casework
  • Fitness/Athletic Improvements
  • Addition of Weight/training Room
  • Turf Baseball & Softball Fields
  • Concessions/Restroom Upgrades
Early Childhood Center
  • Early Childhood Centers at Conant Elementary School & Eastover Elementary School
  • Security Upgrades
  • Architectural & Classroom Improvements
  • Lighting Upgrades
  • Mechanical Equipment Replacement
  • Technology Infrastructure
  • Furniture Replacement
  • Barrier-Free Playground
Bowers Farm, International Academy, Nature Center, Wing Lake Developmental Center, Booth Center, Transportation & Maintenance
  • Upgrades to Security, Infrastructure, and Technology (International Academy, Wing Lake Developmental Center, Booth Center)
  • Farm & Nature Center Updates
  • Relocated Transportation and Maintenance Center
  • Demolition of Lone Pine, Transportation, and Fox Hills
  • Sale of Franklin Road Maintenance Building
Bowers Farm, Bowers Academy, Nature Center
  • Upgrades to Security, Infrastructure, and Technology
  • Enhancements for Community Use
  • Physical Changes for Recreational Use
  • Improvements to Trails and Visitor Spaces, Pavilion, Gathering Space
  • Renovated Outdoor Learning Laboratories
  • Reorganized Farm Site Plan
  • Teaching Kitchen & Visitor Center
  • Greenhouses for Year-Round Fresh Produce for Food Services
  • Therapeutic & Recreational Equestrian Pavilion
International Academy, Wing Lake Developmental Center, Booth Center
  • Security Upgrades
  • Visitor Management Systems
  • Access Control
  • Intrusion Detection
  • Public Address System
  • Roof Replacement
  • Mechanical Equipment Replacement
  • Technology Infrastructure
  • Lighting Upgrades
  • Paint & Refresh
Location To be Determined
  • STEM/Robotics space
Technology
  • Classroom Technology
  • Classroom Sound Enhancement Systems
  • Student Devices
  • Visitor Management Systems
  • Video Surveillance
  • Access Control
  • Intrusion Detection
  • Student Attendance Tracking
  • Public Address System
  • Wireless Network Upgrades
  • Audio/Visual Systems
  • Structured Cabling




How will the bond proposal affect my taxes?


If approved, the $200.155 million bond proposal is projected to increase the current tax rate by 1.85 mills (which is equal to $1.85 per $1,000 of a homeowner’s taxable value). The additional cost to a person living in a home with a market value of $400,000 (approximate taxable value of $200,000) will be $30.83 per month or $1.02 per day. Residents can calculate their monthly cost by multiplying the taxable value of their home (which is typically one-half the market value) by 0.00185 and dividing by 12 or use this tool and enter the information requested to see an estimate.




Will taxpayers be still paying for computers when they are obsolete?


Taxpayers will not be paying for computers when they are obsolete. The Michigan Department of Treasury and federal tax regulations require that specific items in a bond proposal (such as computers) be paid for before they become obsolete. The cost of computers will be paid off within five years of their first use which is the useful life period allowed under State law.




What are the plans for community use of the new middle school pool?


We anticipate the community will be able to utilize the pool during the hours it is not used by our middle school swimmers and our community recreation programs. We hope to offer as many hours of “open swim” as possible.




What is the schedule for the completion of bond proposal projects?


Work on the bond proposal projects will begin immediately following approval of the bond. It is estimated that all projects will be substantially completed by 2026.




Will all bond proposal revenue benefit Bloomfield Hills Schools?


Yes. All revenue from the bond proposal will benefit Bloomfield Hills Schools.




If the bond proposal is approved by voters, will property values be affected?


Research indicates that real estate values tend to be higher in communities with school districts that are perceived to offer a quality educational program and have up-to-date school facilities. All Bloomfield Hills Schools bond proposal projects are designed to reflect positively on homeowner property values and the school district’s reputation for effectiveness and efficiency.




What is a bond proposal?


Under State law, school districts are authorized to request voter approval for a bond proposal allowing the school district to borrow money by issuing long-term bonds to finance proposed capital improvement projects. When voters approve a bond proposal, the school district sells bonds in the authorized amount and uses the proceeds to pay for those capital projects approved by the voters in the bond proposal. The school district is also authorized to levy a debt millage to repay the bonds. State law also provides that voter approved bonds cannot be issued for a term longer than 30 years. In many ways, the bonding process is like a homeowner obtaining a mortgage and making payments over a period of years.




How can bond proceeds be used?


Bonds can be used for:

  • Constructing new school buildings
  • Constructing additions to existing school buildings
  • Remodeling existing school buildings
  • Energy conservation improvements
  • Land purchases
  • Site development and improvements
  • Athletic and physical education facility development and improvements
  • Playground development and improvements
  • Refunding debt (if new, present value savings can be demonstrated)
  • Direct bond program costs such as professional fees, election fees, issuance costs, qualification fees, insurance fees, final audit costs
  • School bus purchases
  • Purchasing loose furnishings and equipment (including administrative technology)
  • Technology purchases limited to hardware and communication devices that transmit, receive or compute information for pupil instructional purposes only.
  • The initial purchase of operating systems and customized application software is allowed if purchased with the initial hardware.




What can bond proceeds NOT be used for?


  • Salaries, service contracts, lease payments, installment contracts, and supplies
  • Repairs, maintenance, or maintenance agreements
  • Purchasing automobiles, trucks, or vans
  • Portable classrooms purchased for temporary use
  • Uniforms
  • Textbooks
    • Upgrades to an existing computer operating system or application software
    • Computer training, computer consulting, or computer maintenance contracts




Can any of the bond proposal funds be used for employee salaries or operating expenses?


No. Bond proposal funds cannot be used for employee salaries. They also cannot be used for repair or maintenance costs or other operating expenses. Bond proposal funds must be used only for purposes specified in the ballot language, and, as required by Michigan law, they must be independently audited.




A YES vote typically means that a voter supports a proposal. Is that the case in this election?


Yes. Voters who support the Bloomfield Hills Schools bond proposal should vote YES; voters who oppose the bond proposal should vote NO.




What will happen if voters do not approve the bond proposal?


The bond projects cannot be addressed as proposed. In addition, the district would not be able to sustain the current level of programs and opportunities. We would “manage the decline” as funds would not be available to address the $33 million in critical needs. Managing the decline would mean that we would still be able to repair a roof when it leaks, but we would not be able to replace aging technology infrastructure. We would still be able to fill potholes, but we would not be able to do any work students and staff would “see” like collaborative spaces, new furniture, etc. In addition, the district would be unable to sustain the current level of programs and opportunities in some areas.




Who can vote in this bond proposal election?


Residents of the Bloomfield Hills Schools who will be 18 years of age or older on Election Day and are registered to vote can vote on the bond proposal.




Where can I get information about voting (such as how to register, where to vote, and absentee voting)?


Go to the Michigan Voter Information website or call the Clerk’s Office where you reside.




Do I need to update my voter registration?


You need to update your voter registration if you have changed your name or address since the last time you voted. You can do this at any Secretary of State Office or at the Clerk’s Office where you reside.




Can any registered voter vote by absentee ballot?


Yes. Since voter approval of Proposal 3 in November 2018, registered voters do not need a reason to vote by absentee ballot. Registered voters can request an absentee ballot application from their Clerk’s Office or by going online to www.michigan.gov/vote and clicking on Absentee Voting in the left column.