HVS’ future to be determined by voters


Laura Nowicki

The entrance to Milford High School would be remodeled to make it more secure if the voters pass the bond proposals. (Photo by Laura Nowicki)

Riley Coesens, Managing Editor

On Nov. 5, voters will either approve or reject two ballot proposals that will provide for infrastructure, programs and safety upgrades throughout the Huron Valley School District.

“We are growing as a community,” said Kevin McKenna, Milford High School Principal. “For us to keep up with the competition, we must keep improving, and all of those things cost money.”

The district is urging voters to approve both a millage renewal and a Building and Site Sinking Fund bond. Both represent a zero increase in the current millage rate for taxpayers, according to Huron Valley Schools.

The bond program is estimated at $182 million. The renewal of the 7.9109 mill building site sinking fund millage will bring in approximately $21-$24 million over the next decade. Furthermore, an important factor for voters to understand is that the tax rate does not increase for either ballot proposal.

Though the passing of this bond will directly impact all of Huron Valley Schools, how will it affect Milford High School and our students specifically?

If approved, MHS could make significant safety infrastructure upgrades, including fixing the high school’s aging roof and floor and ceiling tile repairs. There would also be improvements to science labs, band equipment, athletic facilities and better technology for the HOT Robotics program.

“The millage will give us a dedicated spot in our school for robotics,” said Junior Kristen Schang.

Currently, the Robotics team, which has won several national titles and competes at Worlds every year, must always work at General Motor’s facilities.

Along with athletics, the proposals would also help programs like the marching band.

“It will give us money so we can buy new instruments and recording equipment to replace some of the stuff that’s been around since Ms. Sare went to school here 15 to 20 years ago,” said Junior Kendyll Klingensmith.

Junior Dan Ellis, also a member of the marching band, agreed the funding would be crucial.

“The bond would give about $1.8 million to all the (HVS) bands combined and that would give our own band about $360,000, which would go to a new rehearsal space, new instruments and help supplement our bands, leading to an overall better program,”  he said.

MHS would also make its entrance more secure along with improvements to the CPA, The Little Theater and “The Commons.”

If rejected, the school will have to dip into its current funding provided by the state of Michigan, which is intended for classroom instruction, not the other costs that all schools face, including technology, buses, and building repairs and maintenance.

“Everybody aesthetically wants their school to look nice,” said MHS Principal Kevin McKenna. “It just makes you feel different.”

Adding a more welcoming, yet more secure touch to all aspects of MHS will improve the students’ and visitors’ experience, he said.

Most  districts in Oakland County have passed these types of proposals to pay for infrastructure, bussing and technology costs. Walled Lake School District passed a $317 million bond last May.

The bond proposal or sinking fund millage failing to pass would greatly hinder everyday activities at all HVS schools, and would be seen at MHS in each classroom, as well as within the community, supporters say.

Not only will the value of MHS and other Huron Valley schools decline, but the district and property values in Milford and nearby HVS communities could likely be hurt if these fail to pass as well, supporters said.

When a school does not have enough support to enrich its students, families do not want to move to that area. Thus, people would be attracted to neighboring cities that have more to offer, and HVS could not compete with others’ abundances of resources.

McKenna offers a simple question to voters: “Do you value the community that you live in?”

Though both parts of the ballot encourage improvement, maintaining the educational worth that HVS offers is vital as well.

Supplying MHS and other schools in the district with assets to continue to offer the same educational opportunities to future generations of students is key to progress, both locally and at a larger scale.

Giving students more opportunities to expand their knowledge and understanding of subjects leads to strong backgrounds for future endeavors, such as college or in other career programs.

MHS strives to support its student body and community, but cannot do so without adequate resources, McKenna said.

“It is our civic duty to offer the same and better opportunities to future generations,” McKenna explained. “This idea is bigger than Milford alone… we are a small piece, but we need to do our part.”