Onekama Board given tour of school construction project

ONEKAMA — Members of the Onekama Consolidated Schools Board of Education were given a tour of the construction projects taking place on the school grounds following

The new heated sidewalk that will run down from the parking lot to the Onekama Consolidated Schools is about 75 percent complete. It will make walking much safer during the winter months. School board members took a tour on Monday evening to view the construction projects taking place at the school campus. (Ken Grabowski/News Advocate)

The new heated sidewalk that will run down from the parking lot to the Onekama Consolidated Schools is about 75 percent complete. It will make walking much safer during the winter months. School board members took a tour on Monday evening to view the construction projects taking place at the school campus. (Ken Grabowski/News Advocate)

Monday’s meeting.

Superintendent Kevin Hughes said that despite the extremely hot conditions this summer work is moving forward on the roof, boiler, HVAC, football field drainage and sidewalk improvement projects at the school.

District voters gave approval to a zero mill increase and one mill sinking proposal on May 2, 2017, for those types of improvements and for technology upgrades.

The $1.7 million generated from the zero mill increase is being used to replace roofs, unit ventilators and condensing units, upgrade grade the building’s boilers and heating system, and add a new heated stairway between the parking lot and building.

A second proposal that was approved was the 10-year, 1 mill sinking fund millage. It creates a fund to provide technology upgrades, capital improvements and repairs of the school’s facilities.

“A couple of the roofs are completed and there has been some times they have been up there working until late in the evening,” said Hughes.

A long time problem for people coming down from the parking lot to the school during the winter was icy steps. A portion of this project will correct that problem and will make walking safer in that area during the winter.

“We are also getting to where the heated steps leading from the parking lot to the school are about three quarters done and being ready to be poured,” said Hughes.

Up at the football field/track Hughes pointed to the trenching around the field that will provide better drainage as progressing nicely. The project became a necessity when too much spring water was making problems for that athletic facility.

“Hopefully, in the next 10 days to two weeks we will be completing the drainage ditch on the field,” said Hughes. “The reason we are doing that is to remove the water problem from that area as there is that hill behind the field that oozes out all that water, so this drain field they are putting in is going to help keep the water moving into the lower ravine and away from the field.”

Last summer a new water well was drilled at that location because the former well water was undrinkable and poor quality. A new well house has been constructed to house the new well and will soon be ready to be ready to start pumping.

“The well was already dug, but this covering is to sit over the top and then we are going to hook it up,” said Hughes. “Luckily we have been able to keep our old well going until the new one is ready to come online which has allowed us to keep the football field irrigated because that was a concern.”

Inside the building the work is also moving towards completion.

“The old boilers have been removed and are gone,” said Hughes. “The new boilers have been installed and now they are just working on piping them, the controls and all the electrical parts. We did have one problem when they sent us an incorrect ventilator and we are looking to get that corrected.

School starts back up the first week of September and Hughes said they plan to have everything back ready to go by that time.

 

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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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