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East Grand Rapids Public Schools

Tradition of Excellence

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. How was the November 2023 bond proposal developed?
The November 2023 bond proposal was developed after a series of student and staff focus groups and stakeholder engagement sessions that included an alumni focus group,  a student and community survey, tours of renovated spaces in neighboring school districts, and a comprehensive facility needs assessment. The Board of Education guided this 18-month process and the District published communications sharing materials from these activities starting in March 2022.  
2. What projects would the November 2023 bond proposal fund, if approved?
If approved, this bond proposal would provide $158.9 million dollars for major projects at all six East Grand Rapids Public Schools buildings and has no tax rate increase estimated from the current rate. The majority of these resources would be dedicated to the high school through a 61,000 sq. ft. addition and a 100,000 sq. ft renovation of academic spaces. Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics (STEAM) instructional spaces would be modernized (or created where none exist today). Design elements would focus on connecting indoor spaces to nature through daylighting, creating new indoor/outdoor spaces, and eliminating windowless classrooms. The Performing Arts Center would be modernized with new lighting controls and LED fixtures, and music classrooms would be renovated. Athletic improvements would include targeted renovations at Memorial Field, a new and improved track, and the addition of a turf field in the track infield. 
Projects in Kindergarten - 8th grade would address aging HVAC, plumbing, and electrical systems with a focus on improving student comfort and operational efficiencies. For our youngest learners, an addition to the Woodcliff Early Childhood Center would provide new classrooms to meet community demand for preschool and before- and after-care services. 
Safety and security infrastructure improvements would be incorporated into projects at every building as school safety solutions continue to evolve, and a 10-year instructional technology plan would ensure consistent device replacement cycles so teachers and students are equipped with the necessary equipment to support teaching and learning. 
3. What is the rationale for the high school project?
East Grand Rapids High School was built in 1963 and, while well-maintained, the majority of classroom spaces inside the building have not been renovated since that time. Additionally, standards for teaching and learning have changed since the high school’s original construction. The District is seeking to transform East Grand Rapids High School into a modern learning environment that focuses on innovative learning and student well-being.

4. Besides the high school project, what other projects would the 2023 bond include? 
The bond would fund a multi-classroom addition to Woodcliff Early Childhood Center to meet current and future needs. Demand for the District’s growing Early Childhood Center program currently exceeds space capacity.
The bond would also fund upgrades to HVAC, electrical, and plumbing systems in every building to improve student comfort and health, air quality, and operational efficiency. 
Safety and security infrastructure improvements would be incorporated into projects at every building as school safety solutions continue to evolve.
5. How was the bond scope determined?
A facilities needs assessment was conducted to understand and outline the needs of the buildings in the District. This needs assessment was reviewed over the course of five months to develop and prioritize projects.
6. How long will it take to complete the bond program?
If this bond proposal is approved, projects would be completed in four phases over the course of six to eight years. While the planning process for the bond proposal was comprehensive, significant design development work will be required before construction documents can be created for each of the projects. Due to size and complexity, the high school project will require an extensive planning timeline. This timeline will remain fluid to ensure that student and staff input into the design process is extensive.  
7. Where can I find more information about the bond?
You can find more information about proposed bond projects, financials, and election information at
8. Will this proposal change my tax rate?
The bond proposes no estimated tax rate increase over the current rate.  
9. How much will the bond cost taxpayers?
The proposal would require an estimated average millage of 5.43 mills over the 30 years the bonds are outstanding.
10. What is a four-series bond? 
The bond proposal on the ballot in November 2023 is a multiple series bond proposal. If the proposal is approved, it would authorize East Grand Rapids Public Schools to break the total bond authorization down into smaller amounts and to sell that total authorized amount in four different series. This approach allows the District to issue bonds only when funds are needed for projects and minimizes interest costs.  
11. What is the advantage of selling bonds in more than one series?
By structuring the sale of bonds into more than one series spread out over a longer period of time, the District can better match the issuance of debt with the timing to which funds are needed. Bond sales are heavily regulated by state and federal laws, and compliance with IRS timelines is an important consideration when planning projects funded through the issuance of bonds.
12. What is the interest rate that will be paid on the bonds?
Interest rates are market driven and will be determined on the date bonds are sold. The District will actively work to secure the lowest interest rates possible in the marketplace. 
13. How do community members know the bond funds will be used responsibly?
Every bond construction fund is required to have an independent audit. One objective of the audit is to determine if the bond proceeds have been expended consistent with the stated purposes for which the bonds were authorized by the voters. The audit must be performed by an independent CPA licensed with the Michigan State Board of Accountancy, and comply with generally accepted auditing standards as adopted by the American Institute of CPAs. A bond construction fund audit report is required after construction is completed. This report is for the entire construction period, from the sale of the bond issue or the beginning of the project (whichever is earlier) through completion, and must include all activity in the fund for that period.
14. Where can I find voting information?
The following webpages provide official information to voters.
If you can not find the voting information you are seeking, please reach out to the City of East Grand Rapids clerk’s office by email at or by phone at 616-949-2110 for assistance.
15. Will the City of East Grand Rapids provide “early voting” opportunities for the November 2023 election?
Per the City of East Grand Rapids Clerk, the following information has been provided related to early voting: 
  • The City will offer nine days of early voting beginning Saturday, Oct. 28 through Sunday, Nov. 5.
  • At the Community Center, 750 Lakeside Dr SE, Room 105 
Hours for early voting:
Saturday, 28-Oct
8:00 AM - 4:00 PM

Sunday, 29-Oct
8:00 AM - 4:00 PM

Monday, 30-Oct
8:00 AM - 4:00 PM

Tuesday, 31-Oct
8:00 AM - 4:00 PM

Wednesday, 1-Nov
11:00 AM - 7:00 PM

Thursday, 2-Nov
8:00 AM - 4:00 PM

Friday, 3-Nov
8:00 AM - 4:00 PM

Saturday, 4-Nov
8:00 AM - 4:00 PM

Sunday, 5-Nov
8:00 AM - 4:00 PM

Monday, 6-Nov (absentee voting only)
8:00 AM - 4:00 PM