Several projects approved in school district

By: Maria Allard | Grosse Pointe Times | Published July 13, 2021

 The Grosse Pointe Public School System Board of Education recently approved a number of projects, including the installation of ceiling fans at Monteith Elementary School.

The Grosse Pointe Public School System Board of Education recently approved a number of projects, including the installation of ceiling fans at Monteith Elementary School.

File photo by Maria Allard


GROSSE POINTES — A number of building upgrades are underway this summer in the Grosse Pointe Public School System.

At the June 28 GPPSS Board of Education meeting, the school board approved the projects 5-0. The approval was part of the consent agenda. Trustees Ahmed Ismail and Lisa Papas were absent.

The projects include: districtwide concrete paving replacement, the installation of ceiling fans at Monteith Elementary School, a chiller compressor at Grosse Pointe North High School, water mitigation at Grosse Pointe South High School, and the approval of new furniture as the central administration relocates to North this fall.

All the projects will be done with sinking fund dollars, minus the furniture purchase, which will be financed through the general fund. Because each project was awarded to different vendors, the work may overlap. School officials are working with each vendor to establish work schedules.

The board approved a three-year unit price contract with Luigi Ferdinandi & Son Cement, in Roseville, with the option of two, one-year extensions to provide the concrete paving replacement. The contract begins on July 1 with a base term end date of June 30, 2024.

The scope of work includes: removal, excavating, staging, barriers, and debris removal; concrete sidewalks and replacement; concrete curbs and replacement; concrete drive approach; a sand base; an aggregate base; and steel pipe bollards.

According to Superintendent Jon Dean, the concrete paving project is a general contract that will address concrete needs that might arise through the entire year. For example, if a piece of concrete sidewalk at a school buckles, the contract provides the district with a contractor and a price to have the problem fixed immediately.

The ceiling project was awarded to Allied Building Service Co., in Detroit, for $36,140 plus a contingency of $7,228 for a not-to-exceed cost of $43,368. The Monteith ceiling fan replacement is expected to be completed by the end of August. A contingency is an amount of funds added to the base cost estimate to cover any unforeseen problems that could arise with the project.

The Monteith project includes installation of electrical wiring to controls and/or ceiling fans, installation of ceiling fans in rooms, installation of fan controls and re-installation of suspended acoustic ceiling tiles removed in order to perform the work.

The board also approved the replacement of a chiller compressor at North to ThermalNetics Inc. at a cost of $65,920 plus a contingency of $6,592 for a not-to-exceed cost of $72,512.

ThermalNetics, based in Auburn Hills, is one of the country’s top Daikin Applied representatives. Daikin Applied is based in Minneapolis. Because the North chiller project has a longer lead time on parts being available, school officials predict the project to be complete by the middle of September.

The school board also approved a project to conduct interior water mitigation corrective work in the basement mechanical space at South. The project is expected to begin next week and is scheduled to be substantially complete by the middle of September.

The water mitigation project was awarded to Fastdecks Inc., in Walled Lake, for $194,000 plus a contingency of $19,400 for a not-to-exceed cost of $213,400. The project will include the removal of existing concrete floor and associated sub-grade as necessary; the installation of drainage piping and drainage specialties; the installation of aggregate base course including compaction; and the installation of concrete floor and accessories.

During the board meeting, Board Secretary Christopher Lee asked about flooding at South because of the June 25-26 heavy rains. Building engineers and custodians visited all the school buildings the morning of June 26 to check on them, and the area up for water mitigation had water in it.

“The areas that have already been addressed had some water but nothing like what it was like prior to doing the work that had been completed earlier this school year,” District Deputy Superintendent for Business Operations Amanda Matheson said. “It was in much better condition.”

With the central administration relocating to North in the fall, school officials assessed existing furniture to determine what would fit in the new space and survive the move from the administration building at 389 St. Clair Ave. in Grosse Pointe City. During the process, it was determined the furniture — which had been donated years earlier — was beyond its useful life and will not fit in the new space at North.

School officials were able to receive donated furniture from outside sources but were still in need of additional furniture for the remaining office spaces. District officials worked with Staples through an Omnia Partners cooperative contract to identify additional furnishings to coordinate with the donated items. The school board approved the purchase of office furniture from Staples Inc. in the amount of $140,744.64, plus a contingency of $14,074.46 for a not-to-exceed cost of $154,819.10.

In November 2019, the district’s sinking fund proposal passed and was expected to generate approximately $3 million of the $10 million annual cost to maintain GPPSS school facilities.

The sinking fund is used to keep school grounds and buildings safe and in good condition. It is not intended to finance major projects. A sinking fund is a pay-as-you-go method of generating tax revenue. Sinking funds are usually five to 10 years in length and are capped by law at 3 mills.