BRPS hosts groundbreaking ceremonies for remodel projects

Members of the Big Rapids Public Schools school board participated in a ceremonial groundbreaking event at Riverview Elementary School Tuesday afternoon. Groundbreaking ceremonies also took place at Big Rapids High School and Brookside Elementary School, as a variety of renovation projects will begin soon at the three schools. (Pioneer photos/Taylor Fussman)

BIG RAPIDS — Big changes are in store for Big Rapids Public Schools this summer following groundbreaking ceremonies at Big Rapids High School, Riverview Elementary School and Brookside Elementary School Tuesday afternoon.

BRPS Superintendent Tim Haist, members of the school board and others involved with a series of remodel and renovation projects at the three schools stopped by each location with shovels and hardhats in hand to kick off the start of the construction season.

Haist explained the projects are possible due to the passage of a bond proposal in May 2018, which levied 2.35 mills ($2.35 for every $1,000 of taxable value) on homeowners toward improvements in classrooms and learning; safety, security and health; and buildings and grounds.

“We’re really excited for the opportunities these changes will create for our students,” he said. “We are very thankful to the community for continuing to support our school and our students.”

Students at Riverview Elementary School attended the groundbreaking ceremony on Tuesday. The remodel projects at the school will include construction of additional classrooms, as well as a collaborative learning space for students and teachers. These updates and others were made possible due to the passage of a bond proposal in May 2018.

The renovation projects will include adding new classrooms and a cooperative learning space for small group work at the elementary schools, as well as additional space for industrial arts, music and other arts programs and an auxiliary gym space at BRHS, Haist said.

Jeremy Mishler, BRPS school board president, said the additions to Riverview Elementary School in particular will provide great collaboration spaces for the students and teachers, and new classrooms will be beneficial as there has been a recent increase in enrollment in the elementary schools.

“This is an important first step in showing our community the exciting future our schools will have with the bond,” Mishler said.

Haist noted some funding from the bond already has been used for projects such as purchasing new school buses, updating security cameras and improving technology in the schools.

In addition to these updates and the remodels and additions to the three schools, Mishler said the school board has a variety of other projects planned for the future, which they are excited to share with the public soon.

“We know this is a major investment from people, but at the end of it, not only will the kids benefit, but the community will as well,” he said.

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Posted by Taylor Fussman

Taylor is the city/county reporter for the Pioneer and Herald Review newspapers. She can be reached at (231) 592-8362 or by email at tfussman@pioneergroup.com.

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