2017-05-18 / Local News

Leland moving toward project

By Amy Hubbell
Of The Enterprise staff

Five companies have been interviewed to serve as construction manager for possible renovations to Leland Public School.

Facilities committee members along with Superintendent Jason Stowe interviewed representatives of the five companies that responded to the district’s Request for Proposals which went out last month.

Bill Robinson, School Board president, and trustees Tom Trumbull and Ross Satterwhite updated board members on their activities during Monday’s monthly board meeting.

They offered no recommendation, pending completion of reference checks.

Three Grand Rapids-based companies submitted proposals. They are Rockford Construction, Christman Constructors Inc. and Triangle Construction Company.

Also interviewed were the Miller- Davis Company from Kalamazoo and Wolgast Corporation of Saginaw.

“They’re all capable. Now we’re homing in on who will be our best teammate,” Stowe said.

The construction management firm will provide a site superintendent, on the scene to coordinate activities, a project manager to focus on design and selection of subcontractors, and an estimator, Stowe said.

Facilities committee members have met with teachers, the administration and others about their “needs and wants” for future building projects.

Among needs identified is space that can be used for testing.

Currently, the school’s performing arts center is used for testing and most other activities, including voting and blood drives.

Between the last construction project in 2001 and now, the needs of the school district have changed. Student performance on standardized tests are now a major component of employment evaluations for teachers and administrators alike.

In February the board hired Natura Architectural Consulting to evaluate the facilities, some of which date back to the 1930s and 1950s.

In March, the board voted to hire TowerPinskter Architects/Engineers of Grand Rapids to recommend improvements for the oldest portion of the school facility, on the south end of the complex, which dates back to the 1930s.

Their work will include looking at issues related to the district’s constrained site, the way the buildings are laid out, and existing classrooms, athletic, administrative and common area facilities.

A special Board of Education meeting may be called prior to the board’s next regular meeting set for June 19.

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