SUPERINTENDENT DR. ANDREA TUTTLE shared pertinent information about the upcoming school bond proposal to seniors at Oliver Woods Retirement Village on Wednesday morning. “Only seven percent who voted in our last election were age 35 or younger,” Tuttle said. “Forty-five percent of voters were 65 or older.”
Owosso Public Schools is requesting the approval of a $45 million bond for district-wide infrastructural improvements.
(Independent Photo/Karen Mead-Elford)
by Karen Mead-Elford, co-editor
Owosso Superintendent Dr. Andrea Tuttle spoke to a group of senior voters at Oliver Woods Retirement Village on Wednesday, Sept. 13. The topic of discussion was about the proposal to approve a $45 million bond to consolidate the middle school and high school campuses and improve district-wide infrastructure. The combined middle/high school campus would include the remodeling of 59 classrooms with the addition of 20 new classrooms, a new multi-purpose performance addition (not an auditorium), and a new middle school cafeteria, media center, and separate entrance. Other improvements would expand parking, improve security, upgrade technology, and see new multi-purpose cafeterias at all three elementary schools. The election is set for Tuesday, Nov. 7.
“I want you to be educated about what you are voting on,” Tuttle shared. She has been the Owosso superintendent for seven years with prior experience as the principal at Central Elementary School. While presenting PowerPoint graphics to the senior citizens in attendance, she explained, “I want to thank you. Your generation built a lot of the infrastructure that we still have today in Owosso. Many of our schools were built in the 1900s. The Owosso Middle School was built in 1928. The high school was built in 1968, and the newest building, Bentley, was built in 1969.” She went on to explain that the failure of the two previous school bond proposals, resulted in the creation of a committee of approximately 60 individuals who did an informational study on the entire school system to prioritize needs versus wants. In talking about the Owosso Middle School, Tuttle said, “We sometimes have snow coming in the windows. We don’t have enough electricity to plug in technology, and this is a true story, we have to unplug a drinking fountain so we can plug in something else because of overloading our electrical capacity. We can’t sustain an education in that building.”
Tuttle emphasized that what makes this proposal different from previous proposals, are the scaled back features; eliminating the request for air conditioning in schools and the desire for a larger high school auditorium. She also explained that voters could visit www.owosso.k12.mi.us to use the tax calculator to figure out their individual bond investment.
The current sinking fund that is in place does not include large-scale infrastructural improvements.
For those who are not registered to vote, the last day for registration for the November election is Tuesday, Oct. 10. Absentee voting requests may be sent to www.michigan/gov/vote or contact the county clerk’s office.