SPRING LAKE PUBLIC SCHOOLS Construction 99% complete

10 Aug SPRING LAKE PUBLIC SCHOOLS Construction 99% complete

SL-CONSTRUCTION3-JPGSPRING LAKE – Holmes and Jeffers schools are almost ready for staff and students to kick off the 2016-17 school year.

During a recent update to the district’s Board of Education, Jason Powers, project manager at Barton Malow Co., said the new 45,000-square-foot, two-story additions are about 99 percent complete.

While some of the remaining items such as gym floors and running elevators will be completed in the coming weeks, other areas can’t be finished until renovations of the older buildings are complete.

The elementary schools’ additions and renovations are expected to cost a little more than $12 million.

“The budget is extremely healthy,” Powers said.

In June, crews demolished the western wing at Holmes to make room for a bus and auto loop. The southwestern portion of Jeffers was also demolished.

Powers said a lot of upfront work was completed, elementary school staff moved, and crews were able to start abatement work on time for the remaining portion of the buildings.

Over the course of construction, Powers said they haven’t encountered many surprises.

Visitors entering both schools now enter through a safe and secure vestibule before they get into the office.

The office opens to a commons area, which connects the two-story addition with the renovated building. The space also connects to the media center, cafeteria and gym.

The 3,200-square-foot cafeteria and 4,800-square-foot gym are conjoined, but they can also be separated by a partition.

The first floor houses first- and second-grade classes, and the second floor has third- and fourth-grade classes.

On the second floor, groups and classrooms can use a collaboration room, which is about twice the size of a classroom, is furnished and has technology.

The remaining portions of the previous elementary buildings are being renovated for kindergarten, preschool and classes like S.T.E.M.

With the new additions close to being completed, staff members have had an opportunity to get some of their boxes unpacked and classrooms prepared, said Liz Boeve, the district’s director of operations.

Furniture that can be placed and set up are being put out, and the remaining furniture is being staged in the gym, Powers said.

Classrooms will be equipped with new furniture, and the desks can be raised so students can stand instead of sit.

Classroom sizes also grew from about 725 and 850 square feet to 950 square feet to the construction.

Throughout the planning stages, the district met with groups to gain insight about how the space should look and feel.

As a result, Boeve said they wanted to have open, inviting spaces for collaboration, and wanted spaces to be warm and welcoming, but also safe and secure.

Superintendent Dennis Furton said the space not only looks nice, but has a functional layout designed with students and education in mind.

Furton said teachers will have access to new spaces and furniture that will allow them new opportunities for instruction.

Community members, parents and students will have a chance to explore the completed buildings during dedication ceremonies and open houses. The Holmes event is scheduled for 2-4 p.m. Sept. 18, and the dedication at Jeffers is scheduled for 2-4 p.m. Sept 25.

The projects are part of the bond proposals voters approved in May 2014.

KRYSTLE WAGNER • JUL 27, 2016 AT 8:00 AM

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