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Alpena bond proposal would update athletic facilities

Alpena High School athletic trainers' office

Alpena, Mich. — The Alpena Public Schools Board of Education proposed a $63 million bond for the May 7th ballot that would help the Alpena High School, Ella White Elementary, Thunder Bay Junior High, Besser Elementary, Hinks Elementary, Lincoln Elementary, Sanborn Elementary, Wilson Elementary and Aces Academy. If the bond passes, the school district would be able to finance construction of secure entrances and install additional security cameras.

Alpena High School design under the bond proposal.

The high school athletics facilities are in need of many renovations, including the locker rooms and weight room. The upgrades would also comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). As of now, the locker rooms, weight room and athletic trainer’s office are underground. As shown in the picture, the weight room would be moved to the front of the school on the left and the locker rooms would be created behind the gym. The projected cost for the girls and boys locker rooms is $2,112,000 and the weight room would be $600,000.

Asbestos can be found on the pipes down stairs, which hang too low. The ventilation was not designed properly to hold a weight room and locker room.

“Our boys football team this year had a bad rash. They weren’t able to get rid of it for a long time,” said Alpena Superintendent John VanWagoner. “All the ventilation system all need be replaced. We can’t get parts for them anymore.”

If the bond proposal is approved by voters on May 7th, the current tax rate will increase by 1.9 mills. The costs of these projects will be finalized when the bid process is completed. Here is a link to the proposed costs:

For more information on asbestos exposure, visit