Clinton TownshipAugust 2, 2012
LCPS moves into brand-new home
By Julie Snyder
C & G Staff Writer
CLINTON TOWNSHIP — Voters in the L’Anse Creuse Public Schools District are seeing where their tax dollars are going with the recent completion of the Harry L. Wheeler Community Center and Administration Building.
The 53,130-square-foot building, named after L’Anse Creuse’s former assistant superintendent for elementary, transportation, cafeterias and personnel and former principal at Chesterfield Elementary School and later Atwood Elementary School, is located on F. V. Pankow Blvd. in Clinton Township, where much of the district’s services are located, such as the John R. Armstrong Performing Arts Center, the Larry F. Brender Support Services Center and the DiAnne Pellerin Center/Riverside Academy.
Paula Rose, community relations specialist for LCPS, said last week that district administration is 75 percent moved into the new building that will house not only staff, but will also be where the Board of Education will now meet each month and where many community education programs and special education classes will be housed.
“Classes for the community are all fee-based, like swimming, karate, crotchet and knitting, yoga — all those enrichment classes for the community to take advantage of,” said Rose. “There are four rooms dedicated to the community for their use; they can be rented for Cub Scouts or as a meeting space for a homeowners association, and booked for classes like dance classes for seniors citizens or for card clubs.”
Since the mid-1970s, the district’s superintendent and most department directors have worked from the former Jefferson Elementary School located at Jefferson and L’Anse Creuse Road in Harrison Township. That building is currently up for sale.
Rose said it will be much easier for everyone who works in the district, as the Harry L. Wheeler building is more centrally located within the district.
The new building features four meeting rooms dedicated to community/district use, which can be divided into nine smaller rooms. In addition, there will be a 32-seat computer training lab, an elevator in the main lobby and an archive room will come in the future.
Rose said entire building is energy efficient, with a geothermal heating and cooling system, and LED lighting in the parking lot. In addition, each room is heating and cooling motion-detected, and a system will not kick on unless someone is in the room.
L’Anse Creuse Public Schools Board of Education President Kenneth Hoover said the completion of the building is something the entire district is very excited about, not only because it’s environmentally friendly, more centrally located and will soon offer an archives room, but because there will be much more to offer to the entire community.
“The archival research library will allow us to better keep track of our history and all the accomplishments and points of excellence that have given the district its reputation,” he said. “And it will be open to the public.
“The building is more community oriented; now we can offer a lot more to the community in one building, instead of everything being scattered around different buildings. That’s important because we serve four townships (Harrison, Macomb, Clinton and Chesterfield).”
The completion of the Wheeler building is one part of work promised to voters in the 2005 election, the year the $210 million bond was passed.
Since that approval, many upgrades to various school buildings, technology and security have been made. Those include new gymnasiums, commons areas at both high schools, new boiler systems and new roofs, and the total demolition of old buildings and the construction of new ones. The old South River Elementary School was torn down and a new facility was completed three years ago. Green Elementary School was also demolished and a new, updated building constructed, and Graham Elementary School’s addition for the Early Childhood Center was completed last year, as was the DiAnne M. Pellerin Center, named after former Superintendent DiAnne Pellerin who retired last year.
Rose said administration, the superintendent, as well as the Business Department, Personnel Department, Curriculum Department, Community Relations, Student and Information Services, Special Education and Community Education, will be 100 percent operational come the first day of school on Sept. 4.
A dedication of the Harry L. Wheeling building will be held at 5:30 p.m. on Sunday Oct. 14. More information about the event will be released closer to the date.
To reach the Administration and Special Education Office, call (586) 783-6300, and to reach the Community Education Office, call (586) 783-6330. The Harry L. Wheeler community Center and Administrative Offices is located at 24076 F. V. Pankow Boulevard, Clinton Township, MI 48036.
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