Proposal 1

At Grand Haven Area Public Schools, we believe in Success For All. So we’re asking voters to consider two bond proposals on the November 7 ballot. Proposal 1 would include a new middle school, safety measures, technology, and needed upgrades and renovations.


New Middle School
Safety and Security
Additional Projects
     Renovations and Upgrades


Ballot Proposal Language

Shall Grand Haven Area Public Schools, Ottawa and Muskegon Counties, Michigan, borrow the sum of not to exceed One Hundred Eighteen Million Three Hundred Fifteen Thousand Dollars ($118,315,000) and issue its general obligation unlimited tax bonds therefor, in one or more series, for the purpose of:

erecting, equipping and furnishing a new middle school building; remodeling, and equipping and reequipping school buildings, including school security improvements and secure entrances, and facilities; furnishing and refurnishing school buildings and facilities; purchasing school buses; acquiring, installing, and equipping and re-equipping school buildings for instructional technology; and preparing, developing, improving and equipping structures, athletic fields and sites?

The following is for informational purposes only:

The estimated millage that will be levied for the proposed bonds in 2024 is 2.71 mills ($2.71 on each $1,000 of taxable valuation) for a 1.66 mills net increase over the prior year's levy. The maximum number of years the bonds of any series may be outstanding, exclusive of any refunding, is twenty (20) years. The estimated simple average annual millage anticipated to be required to retire this bond debt is 1.92 mills ($1.92 on each $1,000 of taxable valuation).

(Pursuant to State law, expenditure of bond proceeds must be audited and the proceeds cannot be used for repair or maintenance costs, teacher, administrator or employee salaries, or other operating expenses.)

A New Middle School

About Lakeshore Middle School

Lakeshore Middle School is 70 years old and hasn’t received significant renovations for almost a decade. It needs extensive renovations to continue functioning as a school building that serves a large population of middle school students. Major building systems, including HVAC, boilers, controls, electrical systems, plumbing, and several areas of roofing are failing or near failing because of age.

Fixing these mechanical/infrastructure issues would not address the learning environment. The current building lacks flexibility and does not align with 21st century educational best practices, such as spaces for student collaboration and breakout spaces for small group instruction.

The classroom sizes are some of the smallest in the district with little to no natural light in some rooms. These classrooms do not support collaborative or project-based learning, and the building lacks adequate lab support to provide the opportunity for STEM initiatives.

If the district were to renovate LMS to address these infrastructure and learning environment needs, it would cost 70% of a new building. It would also take years to complete and disrupt learning for our middle schoolers.

Vision for a New Middle School

The new middle school would be designed to align with current best practices for teaching and learning. It would also provide safety features, modern amenities, and technologies, including:

  • 21st century safety and security features
  • Small group collaboration rooms
  • Large group instruction room
  • Media Center
  • Spaces for Band, Choir & Orchestra
  • Auditorium
  • STEM / Science Olympiad Lab
  • Cafeteria
  • Gymnasium
  • Weight / fitness room
  • Ample space for outdoor athletics

The following images provide examples of similar spaces.

When determining the best location for a new middle school, GHAPS took a number of factors into account, including:


Our current middle school population is 755 students and we anticipate similar enrollment numbers in five years. The new middle school’s teaching station count would be able to accommodate approximately 780 students, not accounting for additional project spaces. This would result in 96% building utilization, which is well beyond the Michigan Department of Treasury’s minimum utilization standard of 85%.


The Council of Educational Facility Planners (CEFPI), now known as the Association for Learning Environments (A4LE), has published guidelines on various topics regarding educational facility planning. Many factors need to be considered, including the number of students, the grades to be housed; the educational programs and services that are planned; the site requirements including physical education programs, parking, zoning and setbacks; stormwater management; and community sports, leisure, and recreational events. The Guide for Planning Educational Facilities recommends middle school sites be 20 acres, plus 1 acre for every 100 students. For GHAPS, this would mean 28 acres for a new middle school site.


GHAPS considered two potential locations for the new middle school: the existing site at 900 S. Cutler Street in Grand Haven, and a property owned by GHAPS at 152nd Avenue and Lincoln Street in Grand Haven Township.


The existing site is 18 acres, which is below best practice recommendations for site size. Even if the district chose to build on the existing site, the current building would need to be demolished first, leaving no building for students to attend during construction. The district does not have additional space available to accommodate effective teaching and learning if a new middle school were to be constructed at the existing site.

The district’s property in Grand Haven Township is 90 acres, providing ample space for a new middle school. While the new middle school is being built, students would continue to attend Lakeshore Middle School, with no disruption to teaching and learning. Census data also indicates that the population in Grand Haven Township is growing, while the population in the City of Grand Haven is slightly declining. The Township experienced a 4.6% increase in population between 2020 and 2022, while the City’s population decreased by 0.3%.


Considering this information, Proposal 1 would fund the construction of a new middle school on the district’s property in Grand Haven Township, where there is ample room for parking, bus traffic, parent pick-up and drop-off, and outdoor athletic fields. Upon completion of the new middle school, bond funds would also cover the demolition of the existing middle school and sitework to create greenspace. The site of Lakeshore Middle School would remain property of GHAPS for future district use.


Safety & Security

Elementary Buildings, White Pines Intermediate and Central High School

GHAPS has worked  to prioritize student and staff safety for many years. One key component of this is continually evaluating ways to improve the physical safety of the learning environments. Improving physical safety in a school building starts with limiting visitor access to the building and ensuring visitors are properly vetted before entering.

The district has previously utilized prior bond funds to construct secure entrances at its existing facilities. This work primarily included the installation of exterior buzzer systems, cameras and access controls to help restrict access to authorized visitors only. Locked door policies, in which visitors must be “buzzed in” from the exterior by building staff, are a great first step in making the buildings more secure, but there are additional measures that the district would like to take.

When many of the districts’ facilities were constructed, it was uncommon to include a secure entrance. As a result, some of the facilities have administrative office spaces located in the center of the building and not on the periphery. This means that once visitors are “buzzed in” to the building, they have full access to the entire building, including student occupied spaces.

As part of the bond proposal, the district would implement additional security improvements at all elementary buildings, White Pines Intermediate, and Central High School that would move offices to the perimeter of the building. This would allow staff to control visitor access at the building exterior, but also allow for proper vetting once they are inside the building. While each solution will look slightly different due to the existing conditions of each building, the goal is to provide the following improvements:

  • Additional video surveillance
  • Additional programmable access controls at building entrances
  • An in-office security check point for visitors once they enter the building
  • Improved visibility to the parking lots and student drop-off areas for administrators and staff
  • A readily identifiable “front door” so all visitors know where to go to check in to the building, such as the examples shown below:

Belmont Elementary Prominent Entrance

Parkside Elementary Prominent Entrance

Each of these improvements would contribute to the goal of limiting building access to approved visitors and providing additional time for the building to properly execute their lock-down procedures in the event of an emergency.

In addition, Proposal 1 would fund mechanical work, as well as restroom renovations to improve compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).


Additional Projects

Grand Haven High School

At nearly 27 years old, Grand Haven High School requires renovations and mechanical upgrades that would be funded by Proposal 1, including a new roof, air handlers and a dehumidification unit in the natatorium (pool).


If approved, Proposal 1 would include funding for instructional technology, which continues the 1:1 student-to-device program throughout the district. Instructional technology purchases would be amortized over a five-year period with allowances for future purchases and upgrades.


Proposal 1 would also fund the purchase of new buses for the GHAPS Transportation Department. Bus purchases would be amortized over a six-year period.




Proposal 1 Financial Breakdown


  • New Middle School: $84,755,147
  • Lakeshore Middle School (demolition and site work): $1,870,870
  • Grand Haven High School: $8,461,746
  • Central High School: $975,758
  • White Pines Intermediate: $1,629,231
  • Ferry/Voyager Elementary: $1,426,541
  • Griffin Elementary: $1,066,297
  • Lake Hills Elementary: $1,454,923
  • Mary A. White Elementary: $1,092,669
  • Peach Plain Elementary: $1,280,267
  • Robinson Elementary: $1,138,649
  • Rosy Mound Elementary: $1,031,787
  • Buses: $1,500,000
  • Technology: $10,000,000
  • Bond Issuance Costs: $631,115
  • Bond Proposal Total: $118,315,000

The Fund Allocation Detail for Proposal 1 is available PDF Documenthere

Note: The Fund Allocation Detail does not include bond issuance costs. 

Proposal 1 Estimated Bond Millage Rates

(Assumes Taxable Value Growth of 2.50%)

Estimated Bond Millage Rates


Proposal 1 Estimated Tax Bill Increase

by Market Value

Estimated tax bill increase for proposal 1.

click here for details about proposal 2

 Proposal Overview and FAQ button



Have additional questions?

Please visit the FAQ section or reach out if you have any additional questions we can answer:

And please remember to vote on November 7th.