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Marquette County school districts take next steps in using sinking funds

Two Marquette County school districts are taking the next steps with building improvement projects.
Published: May. 20, 2022 at 6:11 PM EDT
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MARQUETTE & ISHPEMING TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WLUC) - Two Marquette County school districts are taking the next steps with building improvement projects.

At the beginning of this month voters in both the Marquette Area Public Schools (MAPS) district and NICE Community School District overwhelmingly said yes to sinking funds. Facilities at Marquette Area Public Schools and NICE Community Schools will continue to see improvements thanks to community support. NICE has a $950,000 sinking fund approved for the next decade. The NICE Community Schools District Superintendent Bryan DeAugustine said the money will go to good use.

“It generates a lot of money for our 700 square mile school district,” said DeAugustine. “It really allows us to keep our buildings and campus beautiful and in good shape and running well year after year.”

DeAugustine said previous sinking funds have allowed the district to completely redo Westwood High’s theater and Aspen Ridge’s media center. Going forward, DeAugustine said the money can go towards the district’s annual projects.

“Every year we have a summer project where we beautify a building or build any new structures that we need to help house our students. Offer them opportunities with extracurricular activities for instance, or for us, we’re going to totally renovate our welding lab,” DeAugustine said.

For MAPS improvements are coming to the Graveraet parking lot and the h-vac system in Bothwell Middle School. MAPS District Superintendent Zack Sedgwick said sinking fund approval for the next decade means general funds can go to other programs.

“Because we free up that $1.1M, it allows us to provide free after school tutoring, and free summer school,” Sedgwick said. “We have over 300 students already signed up for our free summer school program. We’re adding some additional pieces to our staffing in the fall.”

Sedgwick thanks the community that came out and supported the fund.

“Marquette Area Public schools have a wonderful partnership with the Marquette community. Approximately 83 percent approve the sinking fund and that just goes to show high-level support for our school district,” Sedgwick said.

Sedgwick said the first major project for the district is Graveraet’s parking lot. Work will begin in the month of June.

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