2017-12-21 / Local News

Glen Lake looks to upgrade lighting for school ‘auditeria’

By Amy Hubbell
Of The Enterprise staff

Comprehensive improvements to lighting were approved and a study of lighting and sound on the auditeria stage were authorized last week by the Glen Lake Board of Education.

The board, at its Dec. 11 meeting, approved a bid from Windemuller Inc. to complete an interior lighting project at the school at a cost of $598,000.

In addition to replacing fluorescent bulbs with LED throughout the school, the electrical contract calls for replacing fixtures and installing dimmable switches and occupancy sensors.

“Essentially everything is changing except the wire,” superintendent Sander Scott said.

Windemuller’s bid was the lowest of three submitted.

Work on the project is scheduled to get underway over the holiday break.

In addition, the School Board voted to hire Rick Stewart of dBA Design Group to prepare a bid specifications to upgrade the lighting and sound on the stage of the auditeria.

Members of the board’s building and grounds committee last month met with Stewart to discuss improvements to the stage, which occupies the south side of the school cafeteria.

Glen Lake is the largest county school district with an enrollment of more than 700 students. Yet, it’s the only school in the county without a dedicated facility for performing arts.

Glen Lake students perform in the school’s “auditeria” — a stage area that’s part of the school cafeteria.

The stage, built 30 or more years ago, has received minimal upgrades.

It’s seen better days and is no longer adequate to handle the volume of students participating, say teachers Ashley Larimer-Kelly and Megan Grezeszak. They appeared before the School Board in July with a proposal for a “much needed” 1,000-seat auditorium.

Their request received no board action, which followed criticism of the board’s decision this year to install an artificial turf on the athletic field for $800,000.

“A new facility would cost in the millions,” Scott said. “It would require a bond proposal and that could take years. The kids deserve better and the work could be done sooner than later.”

With this in mind, the board’s building and grounds committee has asked that any upgrade be “scalable and transferable in the event of the existing space being remodeled or a new space built.”

In other business during the final regular meeting on the 2017 calendar year the board:

 Heard a presentation about “School Dude,” a software program that helps districts streamline maintenance management, track inventory and accurately plan for future capital needs.

 Met in closed session for 90 minutes to discuss strategy for upcoming contract negotiations with the Glen Lake Federation of Teachers.

The teachers’ current contract expires at the end of the 2017-18 school year.

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