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August 27, 2014

Bond projects get a good start in Troy schools over break

By Terry Oparka
C & G Staff Writer

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Crews began work to remove pavement to upgrade and move the parking lot at Martell Elementary School as school got out in June.

Construction crews accomplished the Troy School District’s goal of completing a project at each building over the summer.

But the planned improvements funded by the 4.7-mill bond voters approved in November have just begun.

The bond is projected to raise $125 million over the next 15 years. By law, bond funds may not be used for operating expenses. 

“A ton of work has gone on this summer,” said Kerry Birmingham, community and media relations director for the Troy School District. “There will be few changes when people walk in, but nothing unexpected. Some entrances will be different, and those parents will be notified.”

“Eighteen sites had some type of activity,” said Ken Miller, executive director of maintenance and operations for the Troy School District.

This summer, the bond-funded upgrades included security modifications at all buildings, reconfiguring parking lots at seven schools — Barnard, Costello, Wattles, Wass, Martell, Troy Union and Morse — to accommodate smoother traffic flows, and remodeling the Athens High School auto shop into a larger educational area with a shared environment for multiple classrooms.

“They are still working on the security to all entryways,” Miller said, adding that those projects would be complete Oct. 1. “There will be signs directing people.”

The improvements involve expanded foyers that allow visitors to stand indoors before they are buzzed in by front office staff into the school.

“This gets them out of the weather into a controlled environment,” Miller said. “It’s a major improvement.”

Miller explained that the parking lot reconfigurations will allow better staging for drop-off and pick-up, and will separate vehicle lanes from bus lanes.

New roofs at Boulan Park and Larson middle schools, which involved complete tear-offs, were completed last week.

On the technology end, a new phone system and Wi-Fi system will be installed and ready when school starts this fall.

Work on expanding the fine arts area at Troy High School and adding four additional classrooms at the high school will start this fall, but will result in very minor disruptions, Miller said.

“We’re trying to minimize as many headaches as possible,” he said.

Barton Malow is the construction manager for the projects, and TMP is the architect on the construction projects.

You can reach C & G Staff Writer Terry Oparka at toparka@candgnews.com or at (586)498-1054.