The price tag of the bond issue likely to go before voters in the Brighton Area School District next year has just gone up. The Board of Education, meeting in regular session Monday night, decided that the original $45 million discussed in earlier meetings would not be sufficient to cover all of the district’s needs and it would need to be increased to about $53 million.

The consensus on the board was that a major component of the bond issue will be $10 million for a STEAM center for every school in the district. STEAM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts and Mathematics. By definition, STEAM is an educational approach to learning that uses all of those disciplines as access points for guiding student curiosity, dialogue, and critical thinking.

The end result, ideally, is students who take risks, learn by experience, engage in problem-solving, develop a sense of collaboration with their peers and work through the creative process. The theory is that students who have had a STEAM-based education will become the innovators, educators and leaders of the future. The board was told that if the bond amount is increased by $8 million it will still not result in an increase in the current district millage of 7.19 mills, but could result in the bond payout being extended up to one year longer.

Among other likely items on the bond issue will be parking lot repaving, new boilers and all-new water fountains in district schools. The high school would be getting many of the upgrades from a bond issue including roof replacement, new acoustical tile, replacement of the corridor flooring and four new boilers. The total cost of the high school projects alone would be $17 million. The board will make a final determination on the amount and date of the bond at its next meeting, on Dec. 10. (TT)