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Voters within Traverse City Area Public School district boundaries will decide on $180 million bond proposal in August

UPDATE 2/13/24 6 p.m.

TRAVERSE CITY — Voters within the Traverse City Area Public School District boundaries will decide on a $180 million bond proposal this year.

“Their most precious commodity are their children, and they want to make sure they’re safe,” said Traverse City Area Public Schools Superintendent Dr. John VanWagoner.


Security is a major part of the bond proposal on the Aug. 6 ballot.

“We have some schools that still do not have secure safety vestibules for when people come in. That’s key,” said VanWagoner.

The bond will continue at a rate of 3.1 mills, meaning that for every $100,000 of taxable property value, taxpayers will pay $310.

“Well, they’ll have the same equipment that other schools have. You know, they’ve promised it for years and years and years that we’re going to upgrade Central and then they always do another school. So this will be exciting that it’s earmarked for it,” said Cindy Hitesman, who is a resident of Traverse City.


If the bond is passed, it would bring around 35,000 square feet of leaning space improvements across the district.

“Making sure that, you know, the updated technology, these and those things are there so that they can learn in that environment to truly be prepared for that career or college when they’re ready to graduate,” said VanWagoner.

The bond money will also bring new technology and busses as well as new boilers, heat pumps, and bleacher replacements with Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) upgrades, and much more.

But the community is most excited for is the preservation of the historic central grade school that has been in operation since 1874.


“But Central Grade is this building that is so historic in our school district, we have many people that are parents went there or even grandparents,” said VanWagoner.

VanWagoner says the upgrades the district is proposing would help education and they even have members of the community who don’t have their kids in the school anymore, eager to see the enhancements happen.

“I mean, it’s just so this this world is just so crazy about me. Me, me. No, we need. We need to support public education for folks,” said Judy Childs, another resident of Traverse City.

To learn more information about the bond proposal, click here.


2/13/24 7 a.m.

TRAVERSE CITY — The Traverse City Area Public Schools Board of Education has voted to put a capital bond proposal on the Aug. 6 ballot.

The board said the proposal would continue the levy of 3.1 mills.

The major proposed projects under this bond would include elementary renovation/reconstruction, safety and security improvements, upgrades to technology and bus replacements and facility improvements for every school, including upgrading aging infrastructure and improvements for ADA access.

The board said that there were additional proposed plans that would include almost 35,000 square feet of learning space enhancements, roof replacements, and facility improvements across the school district that would include: 26 boilers, 260 heat pumps, five playground drainage updgrades, six building bleacher replacements with ADA upgrades and 13 site improvements to driveways, curbs, sidewalks and parking lots.

The board said this decision was made after a year-long process of information and data collection of parents, students and staff in their district.

More information about the bond proposal will be shared with the community at a later time. But you can find more information about the bond and updates by clicking here.

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