As we approach the end of May, and move closer to the end of the school year, we begin to think about summer break and preparing for fall. Part of that preparation is bringing new spaces online through our bond projects, and preparing for additional projects that will carry us through next year. At last night’s Parent School Improvement Team (PSIT) meeting, I received some feedback about doing a better job of sharing some of those updates, so I wanted to make sure to take some time today to do just that; share our progress.
We have been given occupancy on the high school fine arts and athletics facility. Some of the areas, including locker rooms, are still closed as we finalize the project, but our band students finally got to move into their new room! Here is what it looks like:
Delta Center is moving along as well, and all spaces will be ready for fall. The new secure entrance and office is taking shape, and the new classrooms for art and music, located along a corridor that will improve student flow in the building, are nearly complete as well. When it is done, the DC entry will mirror Holbrook’s and Beagle’s with a locked vestibule that requires guests to be buzzed into the office or the school. There is progress on the new road out to Michigan avenue, too. When the opens, it will significantly improve the drop off and pick up issues created by the current configuration. Here are pictures of the road, the new entrance, and the new hallway/classroom addition:
The next project that is actively in the design phase, includes roof replacements at the high school and Neff, along with a new heating and cooling system and secure entry at the high school. As our high school students and staff are well aware, the temperatures in the high school classrooms are unpredictable at best and uncomfortable at worst, and the system needs to be replaced. We also know that in this day and age, the more secure our entities can be, the better, and the high school’s will be designed to mirror Beagle’s and Holbrook’s, just like we are doing with Delta Center’s.
The Wacousta project is currently out for bid. At this time, we are still on track to begin the project over the summer. The design of the new building received extensive input from Wacousta and district staff, and was thoughtfully put together to include the “Open for All” feeling through open lobbies and large windows that makes Wacousta special, while creating walled classrooms that are more conducive to a safe learning environment that we need in a 21st century school. It will also have the same secure entries as the other buildings mentioned. And, of course, the Dream Depot is integral to the layout of the site!
We are putting the finishing touches on the pool repairs that I mentioned in earlier communications. While it is not ready yet, we are excited about putting the competition pool back into use, and appreciative that we were able to make the repairs at no cost to the district.
Those are all of the current projects underway. In the future, we will be making upgrades at Hayes and Willow Ridge and developing an agriscience building in the district. All bond projects, including the ones that have been completed and the ones I referenced here, can be found on our bond page (a special shout out goes to our Communications Director, John Ellsworth, for his work on the page and our website in general; last Friday was School Communicators Day, and John does an outstanding job managing our district communications).
We greatly appreciate the support of the community on these projects. They are truly transforming our district! Thank you to the GLPS team for all of their work in managing these projects, to Clark Construction for overseeing construction, to GMB for their design work, and to all the subcontractors who have made these improvements possible.
Have a wonderful weekend; as always, I am #proudtobeacomet!
Dr. Bill Barnes
Superintendent of Schools