Superintendent Gray discusses upcoming bond

With the November 5 bond approaching, Brighton Area Schools is on the verge of possible big change


Ivy Muench

Dr. Greg Gray explains the nonexistent change in millage rate accompanying the upcoming bond. Dr. Gray used a slideshow, found on the Brighton Area Schools’ website, to explain each step of how BAS will use the money from the Nov. 5 bond.

Beginning in the summer of 2020, Brighton Area Schools would begin to see new building repairs, the start of some new buildings, STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) development within classrooms and more if the Nov. 5 bond is passed. The proposed $59 million bond and its plan is a continuation of the $88 million bond plan passed in 2012. 

Overall, 25.65% of the bond money would be used for STEAM development, 18.94% for general improvements, 16.26% for site work, 15.79% for athletics, 12.04% for instructional technology, and 11.32% for classrooms. The money from the bond used for STEAM development would be distributed to schools on a per-student basis. 

One of the misconceptions is that this bond would be mostly for athletics. 

“I’ve had some people with the misperception that this bond is just about athletics. And it just isn’t accurate,” Superintendent Dr. Greg Gray clarified in his Forum about the bond on Oct. 7. The largest portion of this bond would go toward STEAM projects and the advancement of technology in Brighton Area Schools, as defined in state-approved plans.

During the Forum, Gray explained that part of the STEAM portion of the bond is planned development of creative spaces throughout Brighton Schools to promote education. He stated, “We have moved away from the standard sit-and-get-in-front-of-a-computer lab and moved to a lot of chrome books, carts, iPads, and those types of things that again allow for a lot of interaction, coupled up with some of that moveable furniture and then you get these creative spaces.” This development includes adding new tables, technology, and other items to promote learning. 

In addition to redesigning old rooms, the plan for the bond includes the construction of a new STEAM center at the Brighton High School and a multipurpose facility. 

The STEAM center would be used for a variety of purposes including classrooms, club meeting areas, etc. However, its purpose would be more definite when the building is built and put to use in real-time. 

The multipurpose center would be slightly bigger than a football field with turf. The multipurpose facility location is still being decided, but possible locations include next to the main stadium at the Brighton High School, Maltby Intermediate School, and Scranton Middle School and Hawkins Elementary School.

It would allow for sporting practices, band practices, club meetings, community-hosted events, and more to happen without the limitation of the weather or seasons. 

Gray explained how Brighton High School works in conjunction with many municipalities and with the city for events such as festivals. These partners in the community would be able to utilize the multipurpose facility when there is additional time was available.

Ivy Muench
Dr. Greg Gray informs his audience about the November 5 bond and answers their questions. On October 7, Dr. Gray hosted a Forum in the BCPA explaining the Nov. 5 bond and to answer any questions the general public had.

Gray added to this idea, “What a good opportunity to do some kind of winter type activity or even like a festival in the middle of the winter. We would finally have enough indoor space.”

BAS plans to use the School Loan Revolving Fund (SLRF) for the first eight years that the voted upon bond is in place. According to the Michigan Department of Treasury, school districts are able to use this fund for a loan from the state as a way to cover the additional portion required to make full debt service payments instead of increasing the current debt millage rate. Therefore, with the passing of the Nov. 5 bond, the millage rate would not change. After the eight years (by 2024), the millage rate is predicted to decrease to 6.11 and would continue to decline years after. 

With two weeks away, there is still time to gather more information about the Brighton Area School bond. Mark Nov. 5 on the calendar and be ready to cast a vote. 

For more information, go to the Brighton Area Schools website.