The Fix is in: AAPS bond passes for much-needed building improvements

With rising enrollment and buildings standing at an average age of 63 years, the Ann Arbor Public School District put a $1 Billion bond on Tuesday’s ballot. And according to final, but unofficial results, 53.3 percent of voters supported the bond request.

The AAPS bond is one of the biggest of its kind in Michigan’s history – second only to the $1.5 billion bond Detroit public schools presented in 1994.

Five of Ann Arbor Public Schools will turn 100 years old over the next few years and most AAPS schools were built during the post-war years – with the average age of the District’s 32 school buildings at 63 years old.

While buildings have been starting to show their age, more students have been showing up for class over recent years. According to district figures, enrollment climbed from 16,471 in fall 2009 to 17,945 in fall 2018 and is projected to rise to 19,195 in fall 2023.

According to District officials, the millage rate is projected to increase by 1.65 mills in the first year, over the 2019 debt levy of 2.45 mills, to 4.1 mills. The owner of a house with a market value of $276,000 would pay roughly $228 more per year, according to school officials.

The money will be used to upgrade school facilities and sites, enhance existing building security, and provide upgraded and sustainable learning environments throughout our district. The bond program scope is based on a comprehensive facility assessment conducted by independent architects and engineers to assess the current and future building needs in our district.

The bond proposal would support the following AAPS goals:

Teaching & Learning – Continue the Tradition of Academic Excellence
Safety, Health & Well-being – Focus on Development of the Whole Child
Sustainable and Environmentally Responsible Infrastructure – Create Resilient Schools for Climate Change
Efficient and Effective Support Systems and Services – Continue Technology & Transportation Replacement and Renewal