Bear Lake school board approves building upgrades

BEAR LAKE — When the school bell rings for the last time this spring at the Bear Lake Schools it may mean the end of classes, but it certainly will not be the culmination of activity in the building.

This week the Bear Lake Board of Education gave approval to refinish both the lower and upper level gymnasium floors and to repair some water damage. The funds are coming from the Zero Mill bond increase the voters approved

This week the Bear Lake Board of Education gave approval to refinish both the lower and upper level gymnasium floors and to repair some water damage. The funds are coming from the Zero Mill bond increase the voters approved

Members of the Bear Lake Schools Board of Education took action this week on several building upgrade projects that will commence over the the summer months. The projects are being funded with money from the Zero Mill increase millage that voters approved in the district and that paid for the roof repairs, technology upgrades and the purchase of a new bus.

“We had some funds left over and that allows us to make some other improvements on the building,” said superintendent Marlen Cordes. “We are going to refinish both our gym floors and take them right down to the bare wood and then repaint  and refinish them. In the upper gym we are installing fans and a sensor under the floor because we have too high of a moisture content under our floor.”

The bid accepted by the board of education is for $19,398.70 from Floor Care Concepts’ of Wyoming to repair the high school floor. It will include sanding, painting, finishing and repairing two 10 foot by 10 foot sections of floor that were damaged by water. The damaged floor will be replaced with new subfloor and maple to match the existing floor.

Four permanent low profile box fans will also be installed under the bleachers in that gym to move air and remove moisture while preventing further damage. The bid that was accepted for that work is for $2,810.

In the lower level middle school gym Floor Care Concepts bid of $11,072 was accepted to sand, paint and finish that floor. That gym has the stage and is used for graduations and other special programs.

Approval was also given to accept a bid of $33,063 from Interkal Telescoping Bleachers. Seven rows of bleachers will be purchased to replace the existing ones that have been in that gymnasium since the 1960s and are in need of replacement.

“We had three bids for the bleachers and this was the lowest one,” said Cordes. “The bleachers in the upper gym are from the same company. Right now we have eight rows of bleachers, but we are only going to put seven in because we also purchased new chairs that allows us to put 750 people in our gym and that should suffice for anything we hold in there like graduation.”

The board also approved the purchase of a new outdoor electronic message board to replace the old letter sign that was in service by the entrance to the building. The sign is being purchased from Dakotronics at a cost that includes installation of $7,483.

“Manistee ISD technology director Roy Anciso did a lot of research on what was available in signs and he recommended Dakotronics,” said Cordes. “Right now we have to send kids out there to try and be creative with the placing of the letters and numbers. Now we will be able to program it from inside and be done with it. What we also like is it is a good visual for the school as well.”

A decision was also made to purchase two backboards for the lower gymnasium to replace the current ones on the side of the gym that slide over the top of the bleachers and are often in the way at events. These backboards will be retractable up to the ceiling and be out of the way.

The cost of the two 42-inch by 72 inch backboards is $12,400 and were purchased from Johnny Mac’s Sporting Goods.

A unanimous vote also approved the purchase of a new 77-seat bus for the school district.

Board members were also given a yearly report on the services and programs the Manistee Intermediate School District general education department performs within the district. Delivering the report was general education consultant Dency Lippert.

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Posted by Ken Grabowski

Ken is News Advocate’s education reporter. He coordinates coverage for all Manistee County schools and West Shore Community College. He can be reached by phone at (231) 398-3125 or by email at kgrabowski@pioneergroup.com.

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