Thank you!

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%

BPS_logo_color 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!

Stay Connected

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

Geoff Hockman Testimonial photo
Geoff Hockman
Beaumont Health System Board of Directors
The BPS plan is thoughtful, well organized and efficient in addressing the district's critical needs.
Cover200.April2015
Downtown NewsMagazine
The Downtown Newsmagazine has endorsed the bond, a link to the editorial is here.
Susan Hill testimonial alt
Susan Hill
Realtor, Former BPS Trustee
The voters of BPS have a one-time opportunity to preserve the investment they have made in their facilities and expand educational opportunities for kids with NO INCREASE to their current millage rate. In some ways it is similar to refinancing your home, and using the proceeds to make needed repairs and improvements without an impact to your household budget.  We can make needed repairs and improvements to our schools without impacting kids and the great work that goes on in our classrooms.  It is a unique opportunity for the district, and one I support.
PTA-logo-1024x543
Birmingham PTA
Birmingham PTA Council
The Birmingham PTA Council unanimously supports the 2015 Bond Proposal. The improved infrastructures and security upgrades will allow BPS to continue to fulfill its mission of educational excellence for our children - without increasing the current debt millage rate.
BPS-Yes-Person-Logo-large
Cris Braun
A strong community is made up of many different organizations that band together to provide the best possible experience for its residents.  Strong schools, like strong senior support, is crucial for the vitality and wellness of our community as a whole. By working together we can maintain and build on the vibrancy of our community to ensure we remain a desirable place for all ages to live.
John Rutherford Testimonial photo
John W. Rutherford
Teacher, Birmingham Schools W.E. Groves High
The auditorium is the epicenter of the theatre program at Groves High School. For theatre this is our laboratory, our classroom and our performance venue. Students enrolled in the theatre classes will directly benefit from the proposed upgrades to the space and the technology in the auditorium.
whitmer copy
Sylvia Whitmer, Ph.D.
Birmingham Area Senior Coordinating Council
Strong schools equal strong communities and promising futures.
LorraineYalman
Lorraine Yalman
As a realtor in the Birmingham area, it’s my experience that the school district is consistently a top purchase consideration and motivator, beyond just the families with children, most empty nesters, seniors and singles are pleased to move into a lively neighborhood with children. Making this investment now, with a zero debt millage increase, is a great opportunity as all residents benefit from the solid real estate investment attributed to our stellar school district.
Lori-Soifer-photo
Lori Soifer
Former BPS Trustee
This Bond Proposal has been carefully considered and thoughtfully designed.  We’re in a position to ensure continued academic excellence for our schools without an increase to our millage rate. It’s the right thing to do.
Birmingham-Eccentric
Birmingham Eccentric
Positive endorsement from the Birmingham Eccentric. Link to the editorial is here.
NEXT-HEADER
Next
The council of Next (formerly Birmingham Area Seniors Coordinating Council) has endorsed the bond. Next - Your Place to Stay Active & Connected.
BPS-Yes-Person-Logo-large
Jane Bell
Greenfield Teacher
I look forward to voting YES to the BPS Bond Issue on Tuesday, May 5th.  As a teacher, parent, and taxpayer in the BPS district and I see the dire need for this millage to pass. Our children deserve this bond so that they will have access to the latest, updated technology.
005-(2)
Kathy Westerlund
Derby Teacher, Groves Parent, District Taxpayer
I see the real need for this millage to pass. Our children need this bond so that they will have access to the latest, updated technology.  Please join me in voting YES to the BPS Bond Issue on Tuesday, May 5th.
IMG_4287-(2)
Amy Voight
Groves Teacher, Groves Parent
At the end of May, I will be the parent of two Groves alumni. Both daughters have had excellent teachers whose work will be enhanced by new arts facilities. Theater and Orchestra have greatly contributed to their education. As a district taxpayer and long-time teacher in the community, I ask you to join me in voting YES on the BPS Bond Issue on Tuesday May 5.
BPS-Yes-Person-Logo-large
Lori Rondello
Citizen, Parent of BPS Graduates
Birmingham Schools are the backbone of this community.  It’s important to support this initiative.

A short video explaining why BPS has placed the 2015 Bond question on the May 5th ballot. Please consider supporting Friends of BPS in helping to build Strong Schools and Strong Communities. Share this video by clicking on the paper airplane.

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.

The following charts summarize what projects are proposed for each building in the district. The details for each building can be viewed by accessing links lower down on this home page (or just use use the search function and enter the building name.)Building 1 Building 2

Positive impact for homeowners. Share this video by clicking on paper airplane.

The Details

Elementary Schools

Please visit here to view overall program support and needs addressed at the elementary level, as well as building by building details.

Middle Schools & BCS

Please visit here to view overall program support and needs addressed at the middle school and BCS level, as well as building by building details.

High Schools

Please visit here to view overall program support and needs addressed at the high school level, as well as building by building details.

Midvale & Other Buildings

Please visit here to view overall program support and needs addressed at Midvale Center and other district buildings, as well as building by building details.

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.

There are nine communities that comprise the Birmingham Public School District. It is only through your continued support that we can fulfill the mission and the objectives of the new strategic plan. Click on map to see your community.

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.

Instructional 

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.

Technology Infrastructure

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?
According to realtor statistics, the quality of a school district’s programs and the condition of its facilities are two factors that people consider when choosing where to purchase a home.  Realtors in the District’s communities agree that people are drawn to the Birmingham area because of the strong academic foundation our schools offer.  The District  continues to provide a rigorous academic experience along with a focus on character education and service learning as noted in our Strategic Plan.  Providing these needed upgrades will allow for the continued success of our schools.  Additionally, our school facilities and sites are regularly used by community members for recreational/athletic opportunities and events, meetings, performances, and senior citizen activities.  Proper maintenance of these facilities is necessary to provide proper stewardship of the community’s investment in our schools.

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.

Subscribe for News and Updates

Subscribe for News and Updates

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from Friends of BPS and BPSYes!

You have Successfully Subscribed!