In year three of the Safe, Warm and Dry Bond, construction crews are making upgrades to two Alpena elementary schools and Thunder Bay Junior High.
Besser Elementary is receiving a secure entry vestibule, new carpeting, and flat level floors. Hinks elementary is receiving a new air system, and they received new lockers among other upgrades.
“It’s going great,” says Alpena Public Schools superintendent David Rabbideau. “We’ve made a lot of improvements across the district. At this point, every building except the high school will have improvements starting the school year. The high school was our last phase in all of this, and that work begins next year.”
The construction crews have a lot of work to do and a lot of ground to cover to get all the renovations done in time for the new school year, but they are prepared to make it happen.
“Proper planning, various team members located each of the buildings, putting a lot of miles on vehicles, things like that, meeting continuously, having clear and open communication with construction crews and teams,” said APS Facilities Manager Kurt Konieczny.
While there still may be some construction taking place during the school year, that shouldn’t concern parents, as they have a plan for it.
“You may be showing up on the first days of school or for open houses, there might be things that are not buttoned up or not quite completed yet, but we will be making sure that through this construction process we work with officials, inspection agencies, and we make sure that we have everything safety oriented,” said Konieczny.
When the school year begins, students and teachers are going to love the new upgrades to their schools.
“I think they’re going to be very excited, because it’s an older school, and we’re putting in a whole new heating system, so I think this will really make a big difference for the students and the teachers,” said APS Board of Education member Sarah Fritz.
APS is already working on prints for construction projects they will begin next summer.