June 13--SPRING LAKE -- Although school is no longer in session, bond-related projects at Spring Lake Public Schools are underway.
More than 30 steering committee members are looking at schematic designs for projects voters approved in May.
Overall, the $54.27 million in bond funds increases the district's debt from 6.33 mills to 7 mills until the term expires in 2043.
This fall, focus groups will take a closer look at the project details. All projects are slated for completion by fall 2016.
Athletic facility improvements are first on the list; they are slated for completion by fall 2015. Superintendent Dennis Furton said athletics are being tackled first because building renovations and construction can only be done in the summer when school is out.
The $4.47 million athletic proposal called for two new synthetic turfs at the high school, upgrading existing practice fields and event parking, and adding restrooms at the tennis courts.
Committee members are currently looking at items such as the location of the two new fields, types of bleachers, announcer's box and sidewalk placement. The group will also look at the specifics of width and length for fields because sports have certain requirements. They will begin looking at pricing and variables in the coming weeks.
Improvements at the high school are projected to cost about $3 million, while upgrades at Grabinski Field are projected to cost nearly $1.3 million. Grabinski Field's upgrades -- which are slated to start by next fall -- include resurfacing and expanding the track to eight lanes, replace the bleachers, upgrade the entrance and press box, add team rooms, and upgrade the ticket booth.
Although it's early in the process, Athletic Director Cavin Mohrhardt said people are excited about what the changes mean for Spring Lake athletics. He said the new fields at the high school means students will be able to walk out of school and onto the field for practices and games. Additionally, the synthetic turf fields will be easier for upkeep and conditions will be consistent in rain and cold weather.
The additional fields will provide relief for current practice fields.
"Our practice fields are getting torn up," Mohrhardt said.
From now through the fall, the steering committee is looking into Holmes and Jeffers elementary schools, as well as the intermediate/middle school building. Work at Holmes is slated to cost about $15.4 million and work at Jeffers is pegged at about $14.8 million.
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