Thank you for all the supported the Birmingham Bond Proposal. Stay tuned to this site for future updates and information as the district moves forward with the important school improvement work.
- Yes Votes 65%
- No Votes 35%
Welcome to the Friends of BPS citizens campaign. We are supporters of the Birmingham Public School District and their request for a zero tax rate increase bond proposal on the May 5, 2015 ballot. Please explore this site and learn about the specific needs this bond will address, which municipalities are covered by the BPS district, and what it means to you as a homeowner. Click the Volunteer button and join our mailing list to stay informed. Thank you!
No Increase In Tax Rate
Zero rate increase. On May 5, 2015 we are asking voters to approve a renewal of a part of the existing 3.9 debt millage. Because of expiring debt, the district has the ability to fund important capital equipment and technology needs without any increase in the existing debt millage rate. If approved, all proceeds target specific needs detailed on a building by building basis. Please visit the Detail Information tab for specifics and scroll down for additional information. Strong schools support strong communities, thank you for your interest and support.
No Rate Increase
Where Are The Bond Funds Going?
The bond would raise $66 million. A team analyzed the district’s instructional, safety, technology and capital infrastructure needs; the total list (including items not being funded) is found here. From that total list the prioritization process focused on instructional, safety, and energy impacts. The critical projects (items ranked 1-5) total $66 million and cover nearly 1.9 million square feet of building space. Every building in the district has a detailed project list, a summary of which can be found here in the Building By Building tab. Individual building details can be found by clicking on the word “Schools” in the above menu – if viewing on a mobile device, the menu is in the upper right represented by three horizontal bars.
What’s Being Done
A summary of each functional area is shown below. The last summary tab shows specific building by building projects.
With employers and colleges calling for collaborative problem solvers, the bond targets upgrades to our instructional spaces to ensure our students experience an environment that maximizes the development of these critical skills. Detailed plans address the creation of collaborative teaching and learning areas, improvements to our high school performing arts spaces, replacement of furniture district-wide and upgrades to our STEM classrooms.
In order for our students to excel in a global environment, it is critical for them to have up-to-date technology tools to facilitate learning. The technology upgrades in Bond 2015 focus on improvements that enhance classroom instruction, including student and staff devices, interactive projectors and whiteboards, and sound amplification systems. Additional technology upgrades will occur in our network and building systems to support the use of instructional technology tools. These include network switching devices, firewall and security, etc.
Safety and security improvements will be integrated into the very fabric of every school. Renovations to main entries with new secure vestibule with an A/V access control systems will improve control of access into our schools. Careful design seeks to ensure a higher level of safety for our students while maintaining a welcoming environment. Other safety upgrades include replacing fire alarm systems, ADA ramps, phone system and a unified time system.
Based on a comprehensive assessment of our district’s two million square feet of facilities conducted in 2014, a number of building and site needs were identified and prioritized. Building components and systems that are beyond their useful lives will be addressed to create equity across all schools and also to provide energy savings initiatives crucial to our operating budget. Improvements include areas such as roofing, doors, windows, flooring, HVAC, electricity and sites.
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What's Left Out
You can find the list of projects and work which received lower priority ratings within the total needs document here or the summary page here. Projects left out of this bond project were consciously deferred, this decision held to the mandate of ensuring that this bond would not result in a tax increase. This is possible because older bonds have been paid off; the renewal of the existing millage will generate funds which will be used for the work detailed.
Frequently Asked Questions
On May 5, 2015, voters in the Birmingham Public School District will be asked to consider a bond proposal to improve school facilities, enhance building security for the safety of students and staff, and provide up-t0-date technology for students to remain globally competitive. If the bond is approved by voters, it is estimated that BPS will be able to maintain the existing school debt levy (3.9 mills) and issue the bonds with a ZERO INCREASE to the current debt millage rate. The bond proposal authorizes the issuance of $66 million of bonds.
The panels to the right summarize the most frequently asked questions (click panel to open individually). More detail can be found on the Bond Info page here, or email the district with and other questions here.
What are the major features of this proposal?
The four main features of the 2015 bond include upgrades to building and site infrastructure, safety and security, instructional areas, and technology throughout all District facilities.
Building and Site Infrastructure
Based on a comprehensive assessment of our District facilities conducted in 2014, a number of building and site needs were identified and prioritized. Building components and systems that are beyond their useful lives will be addressed to create equity across all schools and also to provide energy savings crucial to our operating budget. Improvements include areas such as roofing, doors, windows, flooring, HVAC, electricity and sites.
Safety and Security
Safety and security will be integrated into the very fabric of every school with renovations to the main entry including a new secure vestibule with an audio visual access control system to restrict direct access into our schools. These improvements ensure a higher level of safety for our students while maintaining a welcoming environment. Other safety upgrades include replacing fire alarm systems, ADA ramps, phone system and a unified time system.
Various upgrades to our instructional areas are necessary to respond to today’s curriculum and teaching methods, including the creation of collaborative teaching and learning areas, improvements to our high school performing arts spaces, replacement of furniture and upgrades to our STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) classrooms. District-wide upgrades to technology will also occur to facilitate teaching and learning in our global world. Instruction in our schools will be enhanced by a number of technology replacements and upgrades, including student and staff mobile, desktop and laptop devices, interactive projectors and whiteboards, and sound amplification systems.
Additional technology upgrades will occur in our network and building systems to support the use of instructional technology tools. These include network switching devices, firewall and security, etc.
How was the plan developed?
The District completed a thorough needs assessment this past Fall. There were many items that were not addressed during the last bond passed in 2003. While the 2003 bond did allow the District to make many improvements, not all items were addressed. While exploring the possibility of a new bond, the District called upon the expertise of architectural and technology companies. Both entities were critical in the development of the needs assessment.
Why should this bond program be presented to voter now?
- It enables the District to upgrade facilities and technology to meet today’s educational and safety needs without an increase to our current debt millage rate.
- It allows the District to preserve important general fund dollars for instruction and classroom needs by providing a funding source to address necessary facility and technology upgrades.
- Current low interest rates mean a lower cost of borrowing money for both the District and taxpayers.
- Our recent Facilities Assessment Study identified a number of important building infrastructure needs that are necessary to address in order to maintain safe, healthy and appropriate learning environments for our students and staff. If these needs are not addressed now, they will likely only become more expensive to fix in the future and could impact the funding we allocate to our classrooms.
What are the benefits for residents without children?
FAQ on Project Specifics
Please visit this page to find answers to specific project questions related to Safety and Security Upgrades, Building and Site Upgrades, Technology Upgrades, and Financial and Election Information.