Grayling Middle School getting major upgrades this summer
Dan Sanderson | Staff Writer
After marking the 100th anniversary of the Grayling Middle School, virtually every area in the school building and outside the building is being upgraded.
A new roof was placed over the gym, academic wing, and office area at the school this spring.
A great amount of demolition work has been taking place at the Grayling Middle School since students went on summer break earlier this month.
Large ceiling tiles are being removed from the gym, which will be replaced by a foam coating that will be painted.
The locker rooms are getting a major overhaul.
“The gymnasium locker rooms are all being gutted,” said Grayling Middle School Principal Jeff Branch. “All of the old lockers are being torn out, new flooring is being put in, new lockers are being installed, they will be repainted, and the plumbing fixtures are all being updated.”
The parking lot for the school is being resurfaced, and the drainage system is being upgraded.
Fencing was removed from the school’s courtyard, which is being reconfigured to include more green space and a new basketball court and play area for use during school and after hours for the community.
“It was an eyesore,” Branch said of the fencing and hard surfaces in the courtyard. “We pulled up a lot of cement and we’re trying to create more green space.”
Bathrooms throughout the entire building are being upgraded, with new fixtures, new stalls and new flooring.
Tile floors in the academic wing are being replaced with a new surface. Some carpeting in the classrooms is being replaced.
Old lockers were removed with some being donated to Hanson Hills and some going to the Grayling Elementary School.
“We salvaged all of the lockers that we could,” Branch said.
The building was outfitted with new boilers, and air conditioning was installed in all three floors of the building last year.
“It’s a nice, safe place to learn,” Branch said.
Gone are the days of 80 degrees in the classroom packed full of students.
“It was nice to have a nice, controlled environment for the kids this spring,” Branch said. “The third floor for years was an oven in June and a lot of times in September, too, it was quite hot.”
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.
The improvements will accommodate children at the school for several decades.
“Structurally, it’s going to look the same, but there will some new features and the inside of the building is getting a face lift,” Branch said.
Crawford AuSable School District voters on Aug. 4, 2015 approved a bond proposal to pay 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 want thank the community for passing this bond, which is necessary to upgrade all of our schools and provide for necessary building maintenance that is required to maintain our facilities,” Branch said. “Our community takes great pride in our schools.”