The Walled Lake Community is supportive of education and has demonstrated this time and time again throughout the history of the District. The support for education in the community begins with a dedicated Board of Education that truly makes decisions based on what is best for our students.
An obvious area where the community showed support for Walled Lake Schools is in the past four consecutive elections when:
- In 2019, the community approved a 30 year, $316 million Building, Infrastructure, & Equity Bond.
- In 2014, the community renewed the 18 mill non-homestead and 3.9 mill hold harmless millage for the School District.
- In 2013, a $67.5 million Safety, Security & Technology Bond was approved
- In 2012, our Building and Site Sinking Fund millage was approved for 10 years.
Buildings, Infrastructure & Equity 2019
UPDATE AS OF December 5, 2019
Board of Education Bond Update
UPDATE AS OF August 23, 2019
The Board of Education reviewed the schedule, timeline and project completion dates that are outlined in this Building, Infrastructure, and Equity Bond presentation, at their Thursday, Aug. 22 Board of Education meeting. Each project has six phases: schematic design, design development, construction documents, bidding and award, furniture installation and construction. Walled Lake Schools appreciates the community support of this six-year, multi-faceted program. Please take a moment to review this presentation and send any questions you may have to firstname.lastname@example.org.
UPDATE AS OF June 13, 2019
The Board of Education of Walled Lake Consolidated School District is proud to announce the successful sale of its 2019 School Building and Site Bonds in the amount of $54,420,000 as authorized by the voters of the School District on May 7, 2019. The 2019 School Building and Site Bonds, representing the first series of bonds pursuant to such voter authorization, will be used for the purpose of erecting, completing, equipping and furnishing a replacement elementary school, a new early childhood center facility, an addition to the Western High School building, athletic team rooms and additions to existing school buildings and other facilities; remodeling, equipping, re-equipping, furnishing, re-furnishing school buildings, athletic fields, playgrounds and other facilities to create a modern learning environment for students and for other purposes; acquiring and installing instructional technology infrastructure and equipment in school buildings and other facilities; and preparing, developing and improving sites at school buildings and other facilities and the purchase of school buses, and to pay the costs of issuing the Bonds.
In preparing to sell the 2019 School Building and Site Bonds, the School District, working with their municipal advisor, PFM Financial Advisors LLC, requested that Moody's Investors Service, a division of The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. ("Moody's") evaluate the School District's credit quality. Moody's assigned the School District the outstanding underlying rating of "A1". The rating agency cited the School District's large and growing tax base with above average resident income levels and solid management that has a demonstrated willingness to make expenditure reductions in their rationale for rating of the School District at this level.
“With this first bond sale, Walled Lake Schools is poised to begin the planning for the bond projects to improve our schools for our community. I thank Teri Les, assistant superintendent of Business Services for her work with our financial experts to ensure this first bond sale went smoothly.”
The School District's financing was conducted by the Michigan investment banking office of the brokerage firm, Stifel, the municipal advising firm, PFM Financial Advisors LLC and the law firm serving as bond counsel, Miller, Canfield, Paddock and Stone, P.L.C. The School District's 2019 School Building and Site Bonds were sold at a true interest rate of 3.50% with a final maturity of 2049 (a repayment term of approximately 30 years).
Brodie Killian, Managing Director with Stifel states, "Walled Lake Consolidated School Districts’ Bonds were sold at an opportune time in the bond market. The District was able to enter the bond market after a recent decline in interest rates. The financing met the goals of the District and resulted in a cost of borrowing that was considerably lower than originally anticipated."
UPDATE AS OF MAY 23, 2019
At the Thursday, May 16, 2019. Board of Education meeting, the Board approved both the architectural company and construction management company as well, the tentative closing of the first series of bonds in June of 2019 with planning to begin in July of 2019.
UPDATE AS OF MAY 7, 2019
Thank you to all of the voters who supported and approved the 2019 Building, Infrastructure, and Equity Bond. The Unofficial Results are 7,219 Yes; and 3,220 No votes with 10,439 residents voting.
We are committed to keeping you apprised of our progress as we rebuild Dublin Elementary School, significantly renovate Walled Lake Western High School, build an Early Childhood Center to attract and retain our youngest learners, and make significant changes in each of our buildings.
“This bond translates to an improved, upgraded and competitive advantage for Walled Lake Schools’ students and community. The fact that the community overwhelmingly supported, 2-1, one of largest bonds in the state is a clear indication that the Walled Lake Schools residents and school community believe in our mission and want to invest in buildings that will support learning for our children for many years to come,” Kenneth Gutman, superintendent, said.
“I want to thank Mr. Tim Lynch and Mrs. Jenn Ludwig and the entire Citizens Committee who demonstrated an unwavering commitment and passion for this effort. They communicated their support in a professional manner throughout the election. Now, we move forward, begin planning the various phases of the effort, and collect additional collaborative ideas for our projects.”
There will be opportunities for staff and parents to participate in collaborative feedback sessions and there will be ongoing communication on the proposed phases of the bond, and all the other important details that will continue to unfold over the next five years or more.
Judy Evola, Director of Community Relations and Marketing added, "We want to thank everyone who voted, our parents, staff, and many senior citizens who continually support WLCSD school initiatives. Most importantly, we want to thank Mr. Tim Lynch and Mrs. Jenn Ludwig and the entire Citizens Committee who communicated their support in a professional manner throughout the election."
At its Feb. 7 meeting, the Walled Lake Schools’ Board of Education approved moving forward with a $316 million bond election May 7, 2019. It will not be a tax increase to District residents. Superintendent Kenneth Gutman said: “We have a unique opportunity at this time where we can request a $316 million bond without a tax increase. The District currently has five outstanding debt obligations, four of which will be paid off within five years, and other factors that give the District this opportunity.”
The bond election is for infrastructure and educational equity improvements at all schools with significant building changes at Dublin Elementary and Western High schools, as well as an early childhood facility, and some safety and security additions.
Dublin Elementary, the oldest school in the District, is 90 years old. “It was built in 1928, and although it has been added onto several times, it is an old facility that we believe should be replaced with a modern elementary school that offers flexible learning spaces,” Gutman said.
As well, the equity factor will be addressed at Western High School with a collaborative learning environment, a modern commons/cafeteria area, upgraded academic areas, updated athletic spaces, new restrooms and other necessary improvements.
“Our goal is to offer functional, equitable learning atmospheres across the District and to address myriad infrastructure needs. These critical upgrades range from heating and ventilation systems, roof and window replacements, and lighting upgrades, to restroom and locker room renovations, and parking lot and sidewalk repairs at most of our buildings. The critical repairs needed at our 22 buildings far exceed our Sinking Fund,” Gutman added. “Keeping our schools in good repair improves our children’s learning environment and is linked to increased property values.”
A list of the 2019 bond projects, by school, will be published on the District’s website, in late February, as well as the bond language and other information.
In the fall, the District had four community facility needs and assessment meetings and also conducted a survey to gather input. The Board of Education discussed these facility needs at its Dec. 6, Dec. 20, 2018 and Jan. 10, 2019, meetings. The State Department of Treasury in Lansing reviewed the Walled Lake Schools’ proposal two times and recently granted its approval for a May 7, 2019 special election.
Please plan to attend a community meeting about the bond. A list of these meetings is provided on the District website, www.wlcsd.org.
2019 BUILDING, INFRASTRUCTURE & EQUITY BOND INFORMATION LINKS:
Bond Project Presentation
Bond Ballot Language
Community Bond Meetings
Bond Finance Video
Bond Projects by Building
2019 Bond Presentation
Detroit News Article
Oakland Press Article 3/6/19
Oakland Press 5/5/19
Spinal Column Article
Spinal Column 1 min Interview
Bond Question & Answer Document
Clerk & Municipality Contacts
Superintendent Gutman's Interview on "The Splash"
West Bloomfield Beacon Article
WXYZ News Story
Email questions to Bondinfo2019@wlcsd.org
2018 BUILDINGS, INFRASTRUCTURE & EQUITY COMMUNITY WORK AND INFORMATION LEADING UP TO THE BOND:
After four community facility needs and assessment meetings and a parent and community survey/poll and three Board of Education discussions, (Dec. 6, Dec. 20, 2018 and Jan. 10, 2019), the Board and District are taking the Application for Preliminary Qualification of Bonds to the Department of Treasury in Lansing for final review and approval.
The proposed May 7 bond election recommendation is for infrastructure and educational equity improvements at all schools with significant building changes at Dublin and Western High Schools, as well as an early childhood facility, and some safety and security additions.
Superintendent Gutman said: “We have a unique opportunity at this time where we can request a $316,000,000 Bond proposal without a tax increase, and that will actually result in a tax decrease. The District currently has five outstanding debt obligations that will be paid off within five years and other factors that give the District this opportunity.” Should Treasury approve our application and should the Board approve a bond proposal, we will share all of the details with you.
December 6, 2018, Board Meeting Presentation
December 20, 2018, Board Meeting Presentation
Parents and community members were invited to attend four meetings to hear about the comprehensive facility assessment that has been compiled with information about all 19 Walled Lake Schools and buildings. These meetings provided the community with an opportunity to learn about both upgrades and needs and to also give input on expectations for our school learning environments moving forward.
Thank you to everyone who attended, if you were unable to attend please view the presentation below and take the questionnaire.
Community Facility Needs Assessment and Input Results:
Operating Millage Renewal 2014
Based upon unofficial results this evening, Tuesday, November 4, the Walled Lake Schools community approved the millage renewal for Walled Lake Consolidated School District and we are humbled by your support. The Unofficial Results are 20,414 Yes votes and 11,521 No votes with 31,935 residents voting.
Congratulations to Board Members Greg Janicki, Kathy Lyall and Chris Titus for being re-elected to serve on the Walled Lake Schools Board of Education.
On behalf of the Board of Education, the District thanks every parent, staff member, and citizen who participated in the election.
The millage renewal campaign effort was led by Mrs. Susan Ebeling and a dedicated WLCSD Citizens Committee. Mrs. Ebeling and the Citizens Committee deserve the utmost gratitude and admiration, as they led a campaign that reached out to the whole community.
Thank you Walled Lake Schools community for your continuous support, as we implement our philosophy of every child, every day. With this millage renewal our community has supported our children and made a difference for many years to come.
The Walled Lake Schools Board of Education recently authorized the Superintendent to begin the process to renew the 18 mill non-homestead and 3.9 mill hold harmless millage for the November 2014 annual school election. This millage is not an increase.
The 18 mill non-homestead millage represents $23 million of the District’s operating budget while the 3.9 mill hold harmless renewal millage represents $7 million of the District’s budget, for a total of $30 million of the district’s $154 million budget, or 20 percent of the District’s total budget. It is important to note the District currently collects approximately 2.2 mills of the 3.9 mills.
Superintendent Kenneth Gutman said the millage levies expires in July of 2015. There is no regular election in November of 2015. Renewing this millage in November 2014 ensures the continuity of services to the students and community and eliminates special election expenses.
“These millage proposals are not increases; they are renewals of the funding the community has supported for the last 20 years. We take our fiscal responsibility seriously and in these times of uncertain state funding, we want to ensure the local financial commitment to the District,” Gutman said.
Other facts about the proposed hold harmless and non-homestead operating millage renewal include:
- Every district in the state is required to levy, with voter approval, 18 mills on all non-homestead properties, generally categorized as businesses, in order to receive full state funding under Proposal A.
- The levy on homestead properties, generally categorized as residential property, is capped at the amount necessary to ensure that the district’s combined state and local revenue equals the per pupil amount allowed under the state’s funding system. Walled Lake receives $8,245 per student and can only collect $437 locally under the law to reach this amount. Although in 2005, Walled Lake was authorized to levy up to 3.9 mills on residential properties, the District has never had to levy the maximum, and in the 2014-15 school year we will levy only 2.2, almost half of the authorized amount.
- The community last renewed both the 18 mill non-homestead levy and the 3.9 mill hold harmless levy in 2005.
- Without this millage in place, the district would lose more than $30 million in the 2015-16 school year and the state would not make up the shortfall.
- On a $200,000 home, the continued assessment is approximately $227 annually. The levy for businesses will remain the same.
- The election date is Tuesday, Nov. 4, 2014.
- Millage Renewal Presentations
- Official Ballot Language
- Election Fact Sheet
- Millage Renewal Video
- October 2014 edition of Learning
- Register to vote by October 6 deadline
- List of Municipal Offices
- List of Municipal Offices with hours of operation for Saturday, November 1
- Absentee Voter Application
- Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce Endorsement
- Greater West Bloomfield Chamber of Commerce Endorsement
- Oakland Press Millage Renewal Article
- Spinal Column Millage Renewal Article
- West Bloomfield Beacon Renewal Article
- WDIV Coverage
- Spinal Column Letters to the Editor
- Spinal Column Letters to the Editor
Safety, Security & Technology Bond 2013
Thank you to the Walled Lake Schools community for your continued support throughout this election process. As a result of your commitment and support the entire Walled Lake Schools community will have enhanced safety, improved technology, new buses and many other improvements for years to come.
Please know you have made a difference for more than 70,000 people in the Walled Lake Consolidated School District.
Yes Votes: 6,541
No Votes: 5,862
Total Votes: 12,403
QUESTION: Did the Walled Lake School's RFP (Request for Proposal) ask for bidders to take over ownership of the buses? Is the RFP a part of the Dean Transportation Contract? Who will own the purchased buses? Please explain.
The District will retain and maintain all of the buses purchased with bond monies. They will not be given to Dean Transportation or any other company.
- Bond Endorsements
- Bond Fact Sheet
- Bond Language
- Bond Video (Short)
- Bond Video (Long)
- Instructional Technology Bond Video
- Geisler Middle School Bond Video
- Bond Projects by School
- Bond Q & A
- June 2013 Board Presentation on the Bond
- Safetey and Security Board of Education Presenation on Oct. 3, 2013
- Spinal Column - Bond Projects Phase I Update
- Learning - Bond Coverage August/September 2014
- Learning - Bond Coverage June 2014
- Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce Endorsement
- West Bloomfield Chamber of Commerce Endorsement
- Oakland Press Parent Endorsement
- Spinal Column Editorial
- Detroit Jewish News Editorial
- Westend Editorial
- Oakland Press Editorial
- Novi Information Network Letter to the Editor
- West Bloomfield Beacon Bond Article
- Oakland Press Bond Article
- Spinal Column - WLCSD Approves Bond for Inclusion in November Election
- Spinal Column - Walled Lake, Huron Valley Schools Update Security Technologies
- Detroit Free Press Election Coverage
Building Site & Sinking Fund Renewal 2012
WALLED LAKE CONSOLIDATED SCHOOL DISTRICT BUILDING AND SITE IMPROVEMENT SINKING FUND BACKGROUND
In June of 2012, the Board of Education approved a motion to ask the residents of the Walled Lake School District to renew the half mill levy for the District Building and Site Sinking Fund. The election for this renewal is Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2012.
In Walled Lake Schools, our schools and facilities are in good repair as a result of the Sinking Fund that voters approved back in 2004. We have been able to do capital improvements annually, with Board approval, because of the current Building and Site Sinking Fund.
The Sinking Fund allows the District to keep the more than 2.5 million square feet of educational space and 780 acres of grounds and property in optimal condition for the thousands of students and community members that use the schools on a daily basis.
With the current Building and Site Sinking Fund we have been able to:
- Resurface and repaired more than 1 million square feet of parking lots and replace nearly 200 parking lot lighting fixtures.
- Repair dozens of boilers, chillers and ventilation systems in the schools.
- Replace more than 200 damaged doors.
- Replace over one half million square feet of carpet in numerous classrooms and corridors in the District.
- Replace more than 200,000 square feet of cracked and broken sidewalks.
Our Building and Site Sinking Fund is a 10-year, .5-mil levy that generates about $2 million dollars per year for capital improvements for school buildings.
- Election Fact Sheet
- Voting Information and Ballot Language
- List of Sinking Fund Projects by School/Facility
- List of 2012 Sinking Fund Projects
- Sinking Fund Renewal Presentations
- Sinking Fund Powerpoint Presentation
- Sinking Fund Renewal Video
- Oakland Press Superintendent Gutman's Letter to the Editor
- Oakland Press Sinking Fund Article
- Oakland Press Sinking Fund Editorial