Deerfield Elementary Principal  David Goetz shows off the new secured vestibule the school received as part of a $30.7 million bond voters approved in 2017. This summer, Avondale Middle School and Avondale High School will each receive a new secured vestibule, which requires visitors to be buzzed into the main office.

Deerfield Elementary Principal David Goetz shows off the new secured vestibule the school received as part of a $30.7 million bond voters approved in 2017. This summer, Avondale Middle School and Avondale High School will each receive a new secured vestibule, which requires visitors to be buzzed into the main office.

Photo provided by the Avondale School District

Avondale School District moves bond projects forward this summer

By: Mary Beth Almond | C&G Newspapers | Published March 18, 2021


ROCHESTER/TROY/BLOOMFIELD — The Avondale School District will begin construction projects at its middle and high school this summer.

In December 2020, the Avondale Board of Education approved the spending of more than $4 million to fund projects at Avondale Middle School and Avondale High School. The $4 million is part of a $30.7 million bond passed by voters in 2017.

Avondale Superintendent James Schwarz said the projects are the latest in a series of district-wide renovations and new building projects.

Since the passage of the bond, Avondale’s four elementary schools each received renovations to their entryways that district officials said enhance and complement visitor screening measures and protocols.

The elementary school renovations included replacing exterior and interior doors, creating vestibules, and completely remodeling a wing at Deerfield Elementary, where the original structure of the building placed the main office in the center of the school.

Under this round of spending, Avondale High School and Avondale Middle School will each receive major renovations to their entry points, along with other updates.

“The elementaries were all done this past summer, and these are the last two buildings that will be undergoing that transformation,” Schwarz said. “We wanted to make sure every building had a secured entryway, where all traffic goes through the office.”

The majority of the renovations at Avondale Middle School will begin in mid to late June. The main entrance will be moved to the north end of the building — where, Assistant Superintendent for Financial Services Dan Trudel said, it will be better for traffic flow and more of a focal point of the building — and a new secure vestibule will be added. Additional work at the middle school will include the installation of resilient flooring and carpeting, the replacement of electrical and mechanical equipment, and improvements to lighting and locker rooms.

“Once the staff are out of the buildings, we have to work with some moving companies, making sure that the office space is cleared out and then the contractors can come in late June and really start getting to work. It should be a fairly simple process. … It’s really just flipping the space around and then upgrading the flooring and all that inside the offices, re-painting everything, that kind of thing,” Trudel said.

The middle school’s main library will also benefit from bond renovations this summer.

“They are going to go in and move some stuff around and create some new labs that are easier to access from within the library. There’s been a huge focus on technology involvement inside the library, so we’re trying to integrate that a little more. It will be a nice refresh in there with new carpet, new furniture, that kind of thing, and then having better access and storage into the computer labs,” Trudel said.

This summer, crews will work to renovate Avondale High School’s parking lot and main entrance to address building safety concerns, as well as concerns about the flow of buses, cars and pedestrians in the current design of the parking lot.

“The high school will have a complete parking lot overhaul, so the old parking lot is going to be taken out and the new parking lot put it,” Schwarz said. “That’s been overdue.”

The parking lot renovations will include a complete rebuild of the paved areas, rather than resurfacing, to support longer life of the parking lots and sidewalks.

“We’re going to be looking at completely removing and replacing three different parking lots,” Trudel said.

As part of the work, the current bus loop will be relocated to the back of the building, utilizing the staff parking lot, and it will be re-configured to accommodate school-day visitor parking, as well as parent drop-off and pick-up. The main parking lot will be designated as student parking during school days.

“It will help define the flow of traffic in and out of the parking lots a little bit better. We’re going to have better designated turn lanes and that kind of thing to help the flow of traffic,” Trudel said.

Outdoor renovations will bring expanded and enhanced student gathering areas and outside classroom space between the planned parent drop-off/pick-up area and the building, as well as sidewalks, short-wall seating and landscaping.

“We’re going to add a lot of greenery, like fresh trees being planted and shrubbery, that kind of stuff. That will create a nice open area where students, after school, can hang out outside. It gives more of a campus feel to the high school,” Trudel explained.

Additional work at the high school will include adding a secured vestibule to the main office, installing resilient flooring and carpeting, replacing electrical and mechanical equipment, and making lighting and technology improvements.

“We’re going to be adding some doorways into the main office and securing off the vestibule a little more. Then I think they are doing a little bit of renovation inside the office for the actual office space,” Trudel said.

The work at the high school will be phased, with crews starting with the south parking lot toward the end of May.

 “Hopefully, we can finish up the south lot sometime in mid to late June, and then we’ll transition — once the kids are out in June — to the bigger lot out front. That’s when we’ll gut the whole front lot, all the landscaping and the entryway to the front office, once the staff are out for the summer. That will likely take us, they are projecting, hopefully, by the end of July, with maybe a little spillover into August,” Trudel said.

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