District voters rejected the millage with 54.04 percent (9,282 votes) of 17,177 total votes, compared to 45.96 percent (7,895 votes) who cast ballots in favor of it.
The millage would have been collected for a 10-year period, from July 1, 2013 through June 30, 2023, with an estimated $2.4 million collected in the first year of the millage. An estimated $28 million would have been generated over the 10-year period.
West Bloomfield Schools Superintendent Dr. Gerald Hill said before the election that the millage was necessary to fund building and site repairs through a funding mechanism outside of the district’s general fund in order for educational programs for students to receive more general fund dollars.
He added that the building and site sinking millage revenue would have gone toward repairs, replacements, renovations, and remodeling of roofs, air conditioning units, boilers, classrooms, athletic facilities, driveways and parking lots, as well as infrastructure needs, playgrounds, and other building and site items.
Hill now says that the district will be in a less proactive position regarding building and site needs and that the choice will now boil down to spending on building and site improvements or spending in the classrooms.
“The (Board of Education) will be analyzing election results and looking into its options as to whether and when they should go to voters again,” Hill said. “My thinking is we’ll defer projects as much as possible and address only urgent needs. But, it could be more expensive. We’re just going to have to prioritize and defer projects as much as possible.”
Hill said the district already has money budgeted for the conversion of Doherty Elementary School into a facility for students in kindergarten through second-grade, and Sheiko Elementary into a building for students in third- through fifth-grade for the fall of 2013.
But he said any other future recommendations from a facilities use study, such as closing the district’s Administrative and Community Services Building, could have impacted timelines.