STEAM Education Funding

District Pursues Bond Money to Put Makerspaces in Every School

A Michigan district is hoping voters will agree to a $39 million bond to cover capital needs, security and the addition of makerspaces to every school. Howell Public Schools Superintendent Erin MacGregor presented the bond recommendation to the school board for discussion, which, if it passes, would be put before voters in May 2019.

Besides covering new roofs, HVAC, paving, flooring, security, auditorium seating, the funding would also add makerspaces to the district's 11 schools.

During the board meeting, MacGregor explained the concept, according to reporting by local media. "When we talk about a makerspace, we talk about a design and fabrication space. We'd be looking to create this kind of space at each of the buildings," he said. "We can't do this in every classroom, but we could take some steps to provide these kinds of spaces in all of our buildings with the funds that would be provided through this bond."

In November, a proposed "Securing Our Future Sinking Fund" failed by 28 votes in the county. A sinking fund describes a type of school bond in the state of Michigan formed by setting money aside for building and repairs over a set period. While that bond initiative failed, the school system took the close vote as a sign of confidence and put together a more ambitious bond proposal that covered the building improvements as well as the purchase of audiovisual equipment, buses and the new makerspaces.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a former senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal, Campus Technology and Spaces4Learning.