EagleHerald Staff Writer

MENOMINEE—“Shall Menominee Area Public Schools, Menominee County, Michigan, borrow the sum of not to exceed Twelve Million Dollars ($12,000,000) and issue its general obligation unlimited tax bonds therefor, for the purpose of: remodeling, equipping and re-equipping the Junior High/Senior High School building, including creating a secure entrance; and developing and improving the site?”

That will be the exact verbiage that will appear on the Aug. 3 ballot for Menominee Area Public Schools’ upcoming referendum. Superintendent John Mans said the referendum will focus entirely on making some necessary improvements at Menominee Junior/Senior High School.

One of the major projects this referendum would allow is the construction of a secure entryway at the building’s main entrance. “Right now, people that walk in can go right upstairs to the classrooms, so we need to have a secure entryway,” Mans said.

This would also include some electronic door locks and monitors to add an extra level of security. He said the engineering for the secure entryway is being worked on, and open houses with walkthroughs are planned to show interested people what the needs are at the building and what the plans going forward may look like.

Mans said the building is in need of some ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) adjustments, particularly with door hardware and the elevator. “It’s going to help a lot, seeing that we have some people in need of ADA. And the elevator, you may know from being there how old that elevator is; it’s practically from the Dark Ages,” he said.

He also said the school will look to replace the old unit ventilators with something more modern and more effective, as well as some plumbing and roofing issues and work on the sidewalks and parking lot areas. “You would not believe the cost of parking lots,” he said.

“It’ll make a big difference to Phase One of this project to get the Junior/Senior High School solid and in really good repair and be ready for the long term. It’s a building we know is not going away, and these things need to be done,” Mans said.

The tax impact of this referendum would be about $5.01 per month on an average Menominee home valued at $77,600. “We did some research on the demographics, and that was about the average house in Menominee. It’s really reasonable,” he said.

The district held one of two open houses Tuesday evening. The next open house will be held July 22 from 5 to 7 p.m. at the high school.