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Published: Monday, 4/7/2014

Bedford chief previews updated buildings

Kleinhans Kleinhans

TEMPERANCE — Bedford schools Superintendent Mark Kleinhans last week gave board members and the public an idea of how the district’s aging buildings would look if voters approve a 4.37-mill levy request May 6 to upgrade the school system’s outdated facilities.

Mr. Kleinhans, in his first year at Bedford, showed photos of what his previous employer, the Montrose Community Schools in Michigan’s Genesee County, did with its four school buildings, which date to the 1950s and 1960s, as do most of Bedford’s.

The slide show depicted modern-looking buildings with “safe entryways” that prevent anyone entering from bypassing the main office.

“I show this to you to show what architects are able to do [with renovations of older buildings],” Mr. Kleinhans said at the school board’s regular meeting. “It’s amazing nowadays.”

Mr. Kleinhans also commended the board for its efforts in promoting the levy, which would raise $70.35 million to upgrade the district’s buildings and for construction of an elementary school at a yet-to-be-chosen location.

The board would raise the funds through the sale of bonds, which would be serviced over 30 years by the new levy’s revenue stream. The owner of a $175,000 home would pay net new taxes of $178.40 per year, according to district figures.

The tax’s impact would be softened by the expiration of two existing school levies this year: 1.82 mills used to service Monroe Road Elementary School construction bonds and the 0.5-mill sinking fund used for building repairs.

Board member Lisa Beins-McCaig reported that Yes for Success, the pro-levy committee she heads, will meet today at 7 p.m. in the back room of Mike’s Southwest Grill, 8405 Secor Rd., in Lambertville. The group meets every Monday at rotating locations.

In other business, the board recognized Bedford High School’s symphonic band, which took top honors in District 1 competition, and the competitive cheerleading team, which was runner-up in the district championship competition and finished in the top 10 academically in the state, with a team average 3.3165 grade point average.

Athletic Director Mark German said the competitive cheerleaders were “absolutely what we want Bedford students to be.”

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