Harbor Springs Public Schools Hopes for Voter Approval on Multi-Million Bond on Election Day

Harbor Springs Public Schools is asking voters to approve a $41.85 million bond proposal which would for what the school board says are much-needed upgrades and improvements to every school in the district.

“One of our elementary schools is really in need a major reconstruction, so much that it’s more efficient to demolish the building and start anew,” said Harbor Springs Public Schools Superintendent Michael Behrmann.

That school is Shay Elementary School. First built in 1954, the school has never seen any major renovations.

The school board also says the bond would also allow them to raise revenue without increasing the tax rate.

“We would keep the current debt levy at the same rate that it is now, 2.5 mils, or even slightly lower,” said Behrmann.

With a bond proposal this size, the city believes voter participation is incredibly important.

“A lot of families have been here for generations, so people are pretty focused on the kids in the schools and everything, so it’s pretty important for small communities,” said Harbor Springs City Clerk Nick Whitaker. “Just a personal opinion, I would have to say it probably will pass but it’s also a lot of money, over the long term obviously.”

The school board says they’ve received positive feedback from parents so far, but are cautiously optimistic to see what happens at the polls.

“We’re hoping and confident that people get out and vote and reinvest in the school’s future to take us through at least another 20 years of having excellent facilities, one in which our community and students can certainly be proud of,” said Behrmann.