I have not shared information about the bond in a while, and with the opening of our new athletics and fine arts addition at the high school and some additional work on the horizon, I thought this would be a good time to provide an update.
As we move through our phase 2 bond projects, GLPS facilities are being updated, upgraded, and transformed to provide state of the art academic, athletic, and fine arts facilities for our students, families, and community. We are excited for the opportunity to use our new track this spring, and very soon the new fine arts and athletic facility on the south side of the high school will be ready for use. This includes upgraded choir spaces, a new band room, a new entry for the auditorium and gym, new locker rooms, a new weight room, and new athletic offices. It also includes a new entrance to the community pool that will allow swimmers to enter the facility without needing to enter spaces occupied by students and staff during the day. Other projects, including the road and classrooms at Delta Center are coming along as well.
And, of course, we are happy that the bond work completed in phase 1 allowed us to transition Beagle to a middle school with a secure entrance, improved traffic flow, 14 additional classrooms, two new music classrooms, a new competition gym, and an expanded cafeteria. Phase 1’s bond work also allowed us to make Hobrook an elementary school with a secure entrance, improved traffic flow, 15 new classrooms, a new multipurpose gym, a new playground, and a new bus loop.
In order to provide continued transparency and communication with our stakeholders, our bond webpage is updated as new information becomes available. The page also includes our current list of projects and priorities. To view this information, please visit the page by clicking here. The building of a new Wacousta Elementary School and heating and cooling upgrades throughout the district, and specifically at the high school, are the next projects on the docket.
Along with current bond projects, we are also working hard to ensure that previous bond work is maintained and lives up to our high standards. To those ends, in the fall of 2022, in order to better align with recommendations from the Michigan High School Athletic Association, we moved from two diving boards to one in the diving well. This created a more comfortable experience for our athletes, as it provided more space between the diving board and the wall. This change was made in conjunction with our construction partners and architects, with extensive input from our swim and dive families and athletes. Our architects covered the cost of this adjustment, so the district did not have to pay for this adjustment.
In addition to that update, the district leadership team feels there is one additional adjustment that needs to be made. From March 20, 2023 through mid summer, the Beagle competition pool and diving well will be closed temporarily as additional upgrades are made to the diving well. The pool and diving well have always met all State of Michigan pool safety codes and the NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association) standards for depth, and they were successfully used for home meets and practices this year, including the CAAC (Capital Area Activities Conference) conference meet for boys and girls. Spectators from all over the area were impressed by the facility, and it is certainly one of the finest competition pools in the region. However, as stewards of our community’s trust and tax dollars, our district leadership team has asked our architect to increase the depth in the diving well by 6 inches to meet an MHSAA depth recommendation as well. While a 12 ft diving well is not a requirement for safe competitions, we feel it is important that all of our facilities meet the highest standard set forth by the MHSAA, in addition to the aforementioned regulations. Our architects and construction teams are completing this entire improvement project at no cost to the school district, and we appreciate the collaboration between the architects, MHSAA, our construction team, and the district to ensure that this enhancement is completed properly and quickly. We chose to begin this project now, because we are outside of both the boys and girls varsity swim seasons, and we look forward to getting back in the pool this summer, prior to the start of the girls 2023 season. Again, the dive well was safe and up to code for this year’s swim season, but here at GLPS, we expect all of our facilities to be of the highest quality, and this upgrade will ensure that our pool is the gold standard.
While the Beagle competition pool is closed, the community pool at Grand Ledge High School will continue to be open for all of our aquatic related events and activities. If you visit, you may notice improvements there as well, from painting and cosmetic changes to an entirely new pump and filtration system. We expect to maximize the use of the GLHS community pool while the Beagle competition pool is being upgraded, and we are proud of the aquatic opportunities that we are able to provide for our students and community now and in the future.
We appreciate the support of the community for these projects; they will continue to push our district forward and allow us to live up to our mission of growing learners and preparing students. Thank you for all you do to make GLPS an outstanding place to teach, learn, and grow. Have a wonderful weekend and a Happy St. Patrick’s Day.
As always, I am #proudtobeacomet!
Dr. Bill Barnes
Superintendent of Schools