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 Doherty Elementary School is one of three current bond projects taking place in the West Bloomfield School District throughout the summer.

Doherty Elementary School is one of three current bond projects taking place in the West Bloomfield School District throughout the summer.

Photo by Deb Jacques

Bond projects change the face of schools

By: Maddie Forshee | West Bloomfield Beacon | Published August 9, 2018

WEST BLOOMFIELD — Students and faculty in the West Bloomfield School District will return to the swing of things in about a month, and when they do, they’ll see that parts of the district have gotten a facelift.

Throughout the summer, the district has been working on some of the larger bond projects approved in 2017.

“We needed to upgrade our teaching and learning spaces to get a closer match to how we teach today,” said district Superintendent Gerald Hill. “We’ll have more flexible furnishings and new technologies that are being put in.”

Renovation projects for Doherty Elementary, Sheiko Elementary and West Bloomfield High schools have been underway this summer. All of the schools will receive safety and security updates, including security cameras and key cards.

At Sheiko and Doherty, the buildings’ classrooms, media centers and multipurpose rooms are being renovated with new floors, paint, furniture and technology.

“The safety and security (updates) are more ‘have-to’s,’” said Hill. “We paid a lot of attention to how we do that, and we’re going to replicate it at all our schools.”

Sheiko is getting an additional main office at the front of the building, and Doherty’s gym is being renovated.

At WBHS, the school’s main office is getting renovated and relocated. The building received renovations of classrooms, hallways and the media center.

The school will also see the addition of small group spaces — collaboration spaces for students and teachers.

The district is on track with the design of a new middle school, which will open in 2022. This summer, district officials have worked with an architect to design a building that meets educational specifications and the needs of students.

“I’m very pleased with how that process is turning out,” said Hill. “It will be a real modern facility that will enhance our middle school options for students.”

The design work will be presented to the Board of Education this fall.

The district is planning on remodeling its Transportation Building, and that project has been designed and bid out. The project includes the construction of a new fuel island for buses; heating, ventilation and air conditioning  improvements and upgrades; and some concrete repairs.

“The projects right now are on schedule and on budget,” Kevin Connelly, from Plante Moran, said at a Board of Education meeting May 21. “We’ve completed the design of the high school, the two elementaries and the Transportation Building. We’re currently doing assessments for all 19 (bond) projects. ... We’re doing a lot of programming meetings.”

In the future, Hill said, more projects are to come as part of the 2017 bond issue. The district is already planning projects out for summer 2019. In May of 2017, voters decided on a two-series, $120 million, 20-year bond proposal, with the measure passing with 68.69 percent approval.