Archive for Thursday, March 3, 2005

Supporters plan Bond Fire

March 3, 2005

The 27-acre plot of land on the north side of West Mary Street where a proposed elementary school is to be built is pretty much empty, except for some stands of trees.

But come Sunday, March 13, Tom Young wants to see the place hopping with school district patrons enjoying a carnival-like atmosphere.

Young, who owns Young Sign Co. and is the father of two children in Lansing schools, developed the idea for what's being billed as a "Bond Fire" scheduled for 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. that day.

"We were trying to think of a good way to get people over to this property," Young explained. "This will give them the opportunity to come out, walk around and see what's planned by the district if the bond issue passes."

The district hopes to convince voters to approve a $23.6 million bond issue in balloting on April 5. The majority of the money - $19.2 million - would go toward construction of a school building on the West Mary site to serve the district's kindergarten through fifth-grade students. The other $4.4 million would be spent building an auditorium on the Lansing High School campus.

Young and others have been busy at the West Mary site, cutting back brush and trees, staking out where parts of the school would be situated and carving out the area where district officials envision Bittersweet Street extending through from the existing Middle School campus to West Mary Street.

What's left, they hope, will be a sort of adult show-and-tell.

The trees that have been cut down will be used to stoke a bonfire at the Bond Fire. Other events will include a presentation by Lansing Elementary School students about the importance of voting, comments by school district and city officials and performances by members of the Lansing High School band and Swing Choir. In addition, there'll be face-painting and a free moonwalk for youths, fire equipment on display and a balloon release, plus free hot dogs and soft drinks.

The event will be rain-or-shine.

"We'll have tents, but if it does rain, hopefully the folks will have some umbrellas," Young said.

The event, he stressed, was for everyone: bond supporters, opponents and those who still are making up their mind about the issue.

"Hopefully, whether people are for or against the bond, they can walk away from this and be more informed. They'll be able to ask questions, look around and get a clear idea on all of what we're talking about," he said.

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