Iron Mountain Public Schools bond proposal looks to address vacant middle school, additional student services

The current Central Middle School will be torn down, and a new elementary school and early childhood center will be built in its place.
The district now has plans for its Central Middle School, which has been vacant for nearly 15 years.
Published: Mar. 17, 2023 at 7:38 PM EDT
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IRON MOUNTAIN, Mich. (WLUC) - Iron Mountain Public Schools is sharing details of its bond proposal on the May 2 ballot.

The district now has plans for its Central Middle School, which has been vacant for nearly 15 years. The building will be addressed in the school district’s bond proposal on May’s ballot, as the district plans for future needs.

“Our student enrollment has been relatively steady the last several years. Into the near future, there is a trickle of a downward trend. We do know our enrollment will still require us to be a multi-building district,” said Jerry Sardina, Iron Mountain Public Schools superintendent.

The plan is to build an elementary school and early childhood center. Students from North Elementary school would relocate to the new building. The district would then look to sell the current North Elementary school. This will allow the entire district to be on one campus.

“We have a lot of services we cannot provide to students at North Elementary because of the use of logistics, timing and personnel,” Sardina said.

Other improvements include renovation to the industrial arts building, new bleachers and floor in the Central Addition gym, and a new HVAC system in the Izzo-Mariucci Center. Sardina said this is all an effort to improve the lives of district families.

“We also know that when we offer new programming and new services to students that currently don’t have it, that reverses downward enrollment. People will start choosing the school district based on what they are able to offer,” Sardina said.

Sardina said if the proposal passes, residents will see an immediate net increase of 2.45 mils in property taxes. The district will look to borrow $16.9 million to complete all capital improvements.

Sardina said within eight years, taxpayers will be paying a similar amount to what they are now in property taxes. Sardina encourages taxpayers to use this property tax estimator to determine what you would pay going forward.

“As we go through each tax cycle, old debt is being paid off. While that net increase will increase their taxes initially, over the course of the years it will trickle down as debt is paid off,” Sardina said.

A second town hall will be held Tuesday at 6 p.m. CT. Sardina encourages everyone to attend.