UCS Bond Proposal Passed

UCS Bond Proposal "Ballot Language" poster that was shown on the UCS website.

Citizens voted to approve the Utica Community Schools $115 million-dollar infrastructure and safety proposal placed on the Nov. 6 ballot.

The UCS bond proposal was created to improve safety, technology and infrastructure throughout the district. According to the Macomb Daily article, “UCS to place safety, tech, infrastructure improvements bond on November ballot” (Aug. 2018) by Don Gardner, improvements include adding cameras and door-locking systems.

It also will also equip and “furnish school district building, facilities and structures…acquire school buses and technology equipment, construct additions to and/or remodel school district buildings” and “improve and develop sites, including playgrounds, athletic fields, facilities and structures in the school district” without increasing the current tax rate.
All schools in UCS will be given money in order to improve infrastructure and safety.

“There are a number of things we can use the bond money for,” Timothy Youngblood, associate principal, said. “There will be more cameras, better internet access for those cameras, new bussing, and hopefully, new laptops. There will be funding for ground projects, like the parking lot. We will also have funds to update the football field and locker rooms.”

Key steps in improving building quality and overall learning environment require money.

“I think it will not only improve the quality of the building, but the students as well,” Danielle Clary ‘19 said. “We should work on the building to make sure everything is up to date and in working order. I know some people want to focus the budget on supplies, but it is not as if we do not have any paper at all in the building. Plus, our immediate surroundings are more important than supplies. I am sure it will positively impact learning since people will learn better in safer, improved environments.”

Despite the promise of enhancement, the thought of the money being spent in other areas linger, since the bond proposal does not impact already operating expenses such as salaries or utilities.
“I do not think that it will impact students that much,” Bonnie Ruanuwu ‘20 said. “It will definitely help the physical building, but I think they are putting money into unnecessary places. It sounds good in theory, but there are not that many infrastructure improvements that can be made, at least not in Stevenson. The bond cannot actually go towards utilities, like electric bills, or be used to pay teachers or get new supplies. I think those are more important than adding extra security we do not need.”

Though many students did not and could not vote on the Nov. 6 ballot, this bond proposal still affects students in the district. Some believe that if students could have voted on this proposal, the outcome would have been much different.

“I do think that the bond proposal will have an impact,” Lorenso Hinojosa ‘19 said. “I do not really agree with the security aspect of it. I do not think that added security will have a great effect on the district since people usually tend to find a way in anyway. I do agree with the infrastructure improvements, like fixing and updating buildings, building playgrounds and athletic fields. That will be helpful to a lot of students.”

According to Eric Czarnik’s story, “UCS voters pass $155M safety and facilities bond” (2018) from C&G News, “Officials say that in the coming five years, every school within UCS will get some kind of attention under the plan. Money from that proposal will be appropriated to projects and improvements related to security, technology, infrastructure and facilities.”

“This bond will definitely help Stevenson,” Youngblood said. “Things age and we usually do not have enough in our yearly budget to fix everything. For example, the turf on the field usually lasts about nine years, but we have had it for about 14. It can be potentially dangerous, with holes and missing patches. The locker rooms are also outdated, and this bond could help fix them up. It will also allow us to update roofing, heating and cooling for our students, which will be extremely helpful.”

For more information, click the links bellow

Macomb Daily Bond Proposal
C & G News Bond Proposal
UCS About the Bond Proposal