Seaholm High School students, faculty and administrators participate in a ceremonial groundbreaking Nov. 2.

Seaholm High School students, faculty and administrators participate in a ceremonial groundbreaking Nov. 2.

Photo by Deb Jacques


BPS moves forward with bond projects at Groves, Seaholm

By: Mary Beth Almond | Birmingham - Bloomfield Eagle | Published November 17, 2021

 A rendering shows some of what the bond  money will do.

A rendering shows some of what the bond money will do.

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BIRMINGHAM — Birmingham Public Schools has begun some new construction projects at its two high schools.

In March 2020, BPS voters passed a $195 million bond that can be used for needed facility upgrades and repairs, technology, and additional security through 2026.

BPS Executive Director of Communications and Family Engagement Anne Cron said the district began a 10-year capital plan in 2019 that helped form the scope of work for the 2020 bond.

“We looked at all of our facilities and did a review of all of our facilities,” she said. “At that time, we also looked at what our bond availability would be and landed at the $195 million mark. That will allow us to complete many of the pressing issues that we wanted to address here in the district.”

Approximately $70 million of the bond money was allocated toward the two high schools — for auxiliary gyms; main office additions; updated dance and weight rooms; improved theater seating; updated restrooms; athletic field work; and infrastructure improvements to heating, cooling and ventilation equipment, security systems, and generators.

On Nov. 2, the district held a groundbreaking ceremony to kick off construction on the Seaholm auxiliary gym and Groves’ stadium buildings — under phase two of the district’s three phases of bond projects.

“We’re excited to begin transforming our two district high schools by formally breaking ground on the Seaholm Auxiliary Gym and Groves Stadium Buildings,” BPS Superintendent Embekka Roberson said in a statement. “These bond improvements will allow us to provide an exceptional learning and athletic environment for our students and for the greater community.”

Cron said it “was time for a facelift” of the high school athletic facilities.

“For us, it was time to revamp those things. They had not been addressed in a very long time in either of the schools,” she said.

The project at Seaholm includes a new 38,531-square-foot building featuring concessions stands, home and visitor team rooms, locker rooms, training rooms, coaching and officials’ rooms, batting cages, a classroom, a gymnasium, golf simulators, an elevated running track, and two outdoor balconies. The track surface and seven existing tennis courts will also be removed to welcome the construction of a new track and 10 new tennis courts.

“We’re anticipating that the auxiliary gym for Seaholm would be completed in 2023,” Cron said.

Groves will welcome an 8,228-square-foot teams building and a 2,750-square-foot concession and restroom building at the north end of the football stadium. The teams building will include visiting, men’s and women’s locker rooms; a team room; a meeting room; a training room; and coaching and officials’ rooms. There will also be site upgrades to the football stadium, including a new entrance and plaza, construction of a new ticket booth, and installation of new fencing.

“The stadium facilities we anticipate being completed next August or prior to the start of the school year for next year,” Cron added. “Groves will also have an auxiliary gym, but that will start after the completion of the Seaholm auxiliary gym.”

Barton Malow Builders, of Southfield, serves as the construction manager on all high school work included in the bond, which will take a three-phased approach over the next six years. District officials said other key partners on the project include Plante Moran Cresa and Integrated Design Solutions.

For more information about the bond, visit www.birmingham.k12.mi.us/bond2020.

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