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      Funding Marquette school improvements

      Twenty-nine million dollars...that's what the Marquette Area Public Schools is asking to borrow from the state in their bonding proposal.

      What will they do with all of this money? The plan is to close down Bothwell Middle School and to construct a new middle school wing on the Marquette High School campus.

      Some may be wondering: why is there a need to close Bothwell?

      Even though the school buildings may appear okay from the outside, proposal support argues that the main problem lies within the school's walls. Problems like poorly insulated exterior walls: the only thing that separates the outside from the interior of the school are two masonry walls; there is no insulation at Bothwell. This causes problems with the indoor temperatures in the pod-like classrooms.

      "If you ask the teachers, they will tell you, 'If I'm towards the outside of the building, then my classroom's cold. If I'm towards the inside, then my classroom's warm,'" said Superintendent Deborah Veiht.

      The open pod learning environments found at both Bothwell and Marquette Senior High are not entirely soundproof, consisting of temporary walls to divide each classroom. In addition to those issues, the schools have leaky lab sinks and corroding pipes. Some renovations to the school's furniture have been entirely homemade to conserve costs, like these tennis balls on chairs. The cafeteria is too small to seat the students, so many of them sit in the hallways to eat lunch.

      There is one perk--with the proposed middle school and high school located in the same facility, transportation may not be a problem.

      "It's a long-range plan," Veiht said. "We won't have to be moving families, and that's something that the district's done in the last few years. This is something that can make that stop. So that will be more stability for them."

      For questions and answers about the proposal, check here:

      For other information on the proposal, check here: