Bloomfield Hills (Mich.) district wins approval of bond issue

May 9, 2012
$59 million will enable district to consolidate its two high schools

From The Detroit News: The bitter battle over plans to merge the two high schools in the Bloomfield Hills (Mich.) district appears to be over. After rejecting two tax plans to build new schools since 2007, voters have approved a $58.7 million bond issue to renovate and expand Andover High School and merge it with Lahser High, starting in fall 2013. The vote was 61 percent to 39 percent.


FEBRUARY 2012...from The Detroit Free Press: Voters in the Bloomfield Hills (Mich.) School District will decide in May whether to support a $59 million bond proposal that will enable the system to consolidate its two high schools. The money, along with $20 million the district has on hand, would be spent on renovating and expanding the existing Andover High School campus. It would become Bloomfield Hills High School, and Lahser High School would close. Voters have rejected previous consolidation plans.

OCTOBER 2011....
From The Detroit News: A plan to join two high schools in Bloomfield Hills, Mich., has advanced with the unveiling of a schematic design of a news school building, including an additional academic wing, 800-seat auditorium and library. It's still unclear whether voters will agree to pay for the facility. The 331,200-square-foot Bloomfield Hills High School, would include a mix of new construction and renovations of the existing Andover High School. The base line price would be between $65 million and $66 million, though it could cost more if the district opts to expand Andover's fieldhouse and renovate its other academic wings. The campus would be 64 percent new; the rest would be renovated. New construction would include an east academic wing; an 800-seat auditorium and performing arts space; cafe; and common areas throughout the school to encourage collaboration between students and staff. The school has been designed by Fielding Nair International, in association with SHW Group and Barton Malow.

MORE: Schematic drawings of plans for new Bloomfield Hills High School. (pdf file)

Earlier developments.... NOVEMBER 2010...Efforts to consolidate the Bloomfield Hills (Mich.) district's two high schools have taken a step forward as the board approved plans to design a new campus, The Detroit News reports. The new school, temporarily named Bloomfield Hills High School, would replace Andover and Lahser high schools. The consolidated campus, a mix of new construction and renovation of Andover's campus, would cost $79 million. The board may seek approval of a bond issue in November 2012 to pay for the construction. Construction might not be complete before 2015, but consolidation would begin in fall 2013.

EARLIER...from The Detroit Free Press: After the defeat of a bond proposal that would have provided money for a new high school, officials of the affluent Bloomfield Hills (Mich.) school district hope to reach a community consensus on what a high school should feature. The district has proposed merging its two high schools, Lasher and Andover. It is considering a scaled-down plan for the Andover site. Had the proposal passed, the district would have closed Lahser and Andover and built a new school on the Andover campus.

And...from The Detroit News: A failed $73 million bond request in the Bloomfield Hills (Mich.) district will not stop plans to merge its two high schools. District leaders, with the help of a facilities design firm hired last month, will spend the next five months addressing how to serve 1,600 students at one site.

JULY 2010....From The Detroit News: The Bloomfield Hills (Mich.) School District plans to ask voters Nov. 2 to approve a plan to build a new high school. The board agreed last month to consolidate Andover and Lahser high schools into one new school on the Andover campus. A new facility would open to about 1,600 students in 2014. The project is expected to cost between $86 million and $98 million.

From The Detroit Free Press: Ending a decade of sometimes rancorous debate in one of Michigan's most affluent school districts, the Bloomfield Hills school board has decided to consolidate its high school programs on one campus by building a new facility on the site of Andover High School. Under the plan, the existing Andover is to be demolished in phases, and Lahser High School would close. Construction of the unified campus is to cost an estimated $87 million, but would save the district $2.5 million a year in operating costs and give students more choices than at separate schools. The plan still depends on residents voting in November to renew construction bonds. Earlier...from The Detroit News: Merging two high schools into one campus in the Bloomfield Hills (Mich.) District would cost at least $31 million, while a new building could cost $87 million, according to draft proposals released by the district. The school board will meet to discuss options for merging Andover and Lahser high schools. Enrollment in the district is expected to shrink though 2015, and state aid continues to decline. The merger could save $2.5 million a year, school officials say. MARCH 2010...from The Detroit News: Seven years after a failed attempt in the Bloomfield Hills (Mich.) district to combine Andover and Lahser high schools, merger talk is heating up again.The proposal stirred such outrage the first time around that school officials abandoned the idea. But after voters rejected a 2007 bond to build two new high schools, the likelihood of consolidation appears to be growing.

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