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NEW BALTIMORE, MI-The Anchor Bay School District, which serves the New Baltimore, MI, area, will be spending $62 million to expand its high school and other district buildings. Voters in the suburban Detroit community on the shores of Lake St. Clair, approved new tax funding for the project this week.

Under passage of the $42.2 million bond issue, approved by a 958-830, the 6,500-student district will add on to the district’s sole high school, which opened to students this year and cost $62 million.

“Over the last two years, we’ve seen an estimated 700 new students enroll in the district,” School Superintendent Leonard Woodside says. “It’s hard to predict the future. But we feel this bond will help us be set for at least the next three, four, or five years out.”

Besides an expansion to the high school on County Line Road, the money will fund additions to Middle School North on Ashley, officials said.

It will also pay for additions to Ashley, Great Oaks, Naldrett, and Sugarbush Elementary, as well as be used to acquire buses and land, improve playgrounds, play fields and athletic fields and boost district wide technology.

New Baltimore and the surrounding communities are among the fastest growing areas in Michigan, according to recent census reports.

From 2000 to 2002, New Baltimore’s population grew by 21.7%, according to a Census Bureau estimate. The agency said as of July 1, 2002, 9,014 people lived in New Baltimore. Mayor Joe Grajek said he estimates by now the city is home to more than 10,000 people.

In that same time period, neighboring Chesterfield Township, parts of which are also served by Anchor Bay Schools, added 2,966 residents over the two years.

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