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PPS Voters To Decide On $176 Million Bond Request Aug. 3

A teacher's work area, bounded by a desk on one side and shelves on the other, with colorful math posters on the wall
Courtesy photo
Portage Public Schools

Portage public school district voters will give a thumbs-up or down Tuesday on abond request.

PPS wants to borrow $175,725,000, which would cover the cost of replacing five 1960s-era elementary schools and remodeling Moorsbridge Elementary, which is about 30 years old. It would also pay for new buses, and hardware such as servers and student laptops.

Superintendent Mark Bielang said new buildings would help students learn collaboratively.

“What our students need now are spaces that allow for collaboration, that allow for teamwork, that allow for interdisciplinary work, for project-based learning. Our spaces now are very traditional, and don’t allow for that,” he told WMUK.

Bielang added that new buildings would also be easier to secure, and would have air conditioning and better airflow.

“If we learned anything during this past year, we learned how important it is to bring fresh air into a space,” he said.

The proposal would not raise taxes, but would extend a current 6.85-mill levy for a decade.

Bielang said the timing of the request puts the district in “a good situation, because as building needs come up 10 years from now, we may be in a similar position to say, ‘Hey, we can borrow x number of dollars without raising taxes.’”

Bielang says PPS is just finishing its last project from a 2015 bond request, which focused on the district’s middle schools, swimming pools and McCamley field.

Sehvilla Mann joined WMUK’s news team in 2014 as a reporter on the local government and education beats. She covered those topics and more in eight years of reporting for the Station, before becoming news director in 2022.
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