Construction continues at Chippewa Valley Schools

By: Alex Szwarc | C&G Newspapers | Published July 29, 2019

 Crews from Metro Technology Services install additional technology in the lobby of the Chippewa Valley Schools Administration Building earlier this month.

Crews from Metro Technology Services install additional technology in the lobby of the Chippewa Valley Schools Administration Building earlier this month.

Photo provided by Diane Blain

 Security cameras were added to the football stadium concourses at Chippewa Valley and Dakota high schools in July as part of Chippewa Valley Schools Safe Schools, Strong Schools initiative.

Security cameras were added to the football stadium concourses at Chippewa Valley and Dakota high schools in July as part of Chippewa Valley Schools Safe Schools, Strong Schools initiative.

Photo provided by Diane Blain

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CLINTON TOWNSHIP/MACOMB TOWNSHIP — Development is ongoing at Chippewa Valley Schools this summer.

Work began in earnest once the school year ended in June at several district schools as part of the Safe Schools, Strong Schools initiative.

Phase one of technology improvements, scheduled to continue through the spring, include wireless network infrastructure upgrades at all buildings, security camera system upgrades at the district’s four high schools, and data center equipment at the administration building.

In November, a $97 million bond proposal passed, which, in part, would fund security enhancements — including security cameras and replacement of door locks — at existing buildings and facilities.

The initiative is aimed to restructure safety mechanisms and technology; improve infrastructure; and develop and improve school buildings, programming, athletic fields and buses.

“With technology is wireless infrastructure being upgraded in all buildings,” Chippewa Valley Schools Superintendent Ron Roberts said. “That’s important because for the middle schools, we’ve purchased 1,400 computers on laptop carts that will be in place for the start of the school year.”

He said that having a robust wireless infrastructure to handle all traffic is very important and that technology is some of the most important work being done this summer.

Security system upgrades at the high schools are underway and are slated to be complete prior to school starting Sept. 3.

Roberts said the district is looking at new interactive smartboards to be featured in pilot classrooms at all buildings.

“Right now, the smart boards are more of an electronic white board,” he said. “New boards will have LED screens. Some classrooms will be tested to see which products work best for us.”

Additional summer construction consists of making high school vestibules more secure. The district’s emergency alert system will be worked on in the fall.

Work for the Safe Schools, Strong Schools initiative is to be done in several phases through 2023.

There are five technology phases — from summer 2019 to spring 2020, spring and summer 2020, the 2020-21 school year, summer 2022, and the 2022-23 school year.

Other technology improvements are career technical education, or CTE, equipment upgrades, and community relations equipment upgrades.

The construction side of the bond program, also to be done in five phases, is highlighted by the redesigns of Cougar Drive and entrances at Dakota and Chippewa high schools, and repaving the parking lot at Ojibwa Elementary School.

Barton Malow Co. and Metro Technology Services are the main contractors for the project.

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