Final upgrades at Grayling Middle School taking place as school year gets underway
Dan Sanderson | Staff Writer
Students came back to the Grayling Middle School earlier this month after nearly every corner of the school building and grounds were upgraded.
Work at the Grayling Middle School is substantially done, with some flooring, bathroom upgrades and a student concession and meeting area still needing to be completed. A canopy will also be placed at the main entrance to the school.
“We’re very, very happy with our construction crew,” said Grayling Middle School Principal Jeff Branch.
Areas have been taped off and detours are in place where construction work is being completed.
“The kids have been respectful of the construction that’s going on and what still needs to be done, but it hasn’t slowed down the progress of school at all,” Branch said. “We’re just working around some things and we can see the big picture and we’re looking forward to when it’s all done. It’s a beautiful upgrade.”
A new roof was placed over the gym, academic wing, and office area at the school this spring.
Large ceiling tiles were removed from the gym, which were replaced by a foam coating which was painted.
The locker rooms in the gym were replaced.
Bathrooms throughout the entire building were upgraded, with new fixtures, new stalls and new flooring.
Tile floors in the academic wing were replaced with a new surface. Some carpeting in the classrooms was also replaced.
Fencing was removed from the school’s courtyard, which was reconfigured to include more green space and a new basketball court and play area for use during school and after hours for the community.
The parking lot for the school was resurfaced, and the drainage system was upgraded.
The building was outfitted with new boilers, and air conditioning was installed in all three floors of the building last year.
“It’s all for the school,” Branch said. “Kids benefit first-hand from these upgrades. All upgrades were centered around improved learning areas for kids.”
School officials are working through a list of items that need to be addressed with the project, awaiting a time that a final clean up can take place.
“We’re waiting for construction to be done so we can fine-tune it and clean it,” Branch said. “Everybody had been real patient, and everybody has been helping out to transition to where it needs to be.”
Enrollment at the Grayling Middle School is at 366 students, up from 354 students who attended the school in the spring.
An open house to showcase the upgrades to students, parents and the community was held on Aug. 29. The school was also opened for tours in conjunction with the Crawford AuSable Excellence in Education Foundation’s celebration dinner held on Sept. 9.
The brick structure, which is now the Grayling Middle School, was built in 1916. The school housed students from kindergarten through 12th grade. A centennial celebration for the school building was held last fall.
Crawford AuSable School District voters on Aug. 4, 2015 approved a bond proposal to replace roofs on school buildings, fund technology for students, purchase school busses and a bus storage facility. Voters in the school district, which covers Crawford County and portions of Otsego and Kalkaska counties, approved the proposal that allowed school officials to issue a sum not to exceed $14,900,000 in unlimited tax bonds by a 676 yes to 480 no vote.
“We’re just appreciative that our community supported this bond to make these upgrades for the community,” Branch said. “This building has an emotional connection to a lot of people.”