Going on a dig for the new Peck Elementary School

By: Maria Allard | Warren Weekly | Published May 24, 2019

 Students Olivia Copeland, Jacklyn Kupraszcwicz, Dean Jared and Rayna Jones help dig for the new Peck Elementary School.

Students Olivia Copeland, Jacklyn Kupraszcwicz, Dean Jared and Rayna Jones help dig for the new Peck Elementary School.

Photo by Donna Agusti

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CENTER LINE — Center Line Public Schools officials, staff and community members gathered behind Center Line High School the evening of May 16 to break ground on the new Peck Elementary School.

As excited Peck students called out “dig, dig, dig,” school officials — wearing hard hats and holding shovels — dug into the ground to start a new page in the district’s history. The new Peck is slated to open in time for the 2020-21 school year.

“This event signifies the beginning of a beautiful new school in Center Line,” CLPS Superintendent Eve Kaltz told the crowd.

The new Peck will be built on the former CLHS outdoor track. It will be constructed near both the high school and Wolfe Middle School. The new Peck will feature a multipurpose room, a gymnasium, a media center, a makerspace, storage, cafeteria, an outdoor classroom, and the proper electrical outlets for updated technology. The new school building also will house the district’s Early Childhood Center, or ECC, which will move from its current location on Cunningham Street in Warren. The ECC will have its own entrance and will share facilities with Peck, including the gymnasium, media center, makerspace, storage, cafeteria and outdoor classroom.  

As for parking, there will be two lots. There will be one main parking lot off Lorraine Avenue. A second parking lot for staff will be located off Busch Street. The new school also will have a separate bus loop off the staff lot.  

Peck Principal Meghan Evoy was among the attendees at the groundbreaking ceremony.

“We’ve got fantastic kids. We’ve got a fantastic staff. Now we’re going to have a fantastic school to go with it,” she said.

The current Peck was built in 1961.

“Things have changed since 1961,” Evoy said, adding that the new Peck will “allow us to offer some of those hands-on experiences kids love to participate in. We’ll be able to do things in an updated facility. We’ll have ample parking.”

However, there is some emotion attached to the change.

“It’s bittersweet,” Evoy said about past students who went to Peck. “They’ll come in and say, ‘I went to school here.’”

The new school building is one of many projects that were made possible through a $53.95 million bond issue that passed in November 2017. Partners in Architecture PLC, based in Mount Clemens, is the architect for the bond projects. McCarthy and Smith, of Farmington Hills, is the construction company.

“Most of the buildings in our district are really outdated,” Board of Education President Gary Gasowski said. “We’ve had renovations over the years. That only goes so far. This is an exciting opportunity for the district.”

District parent Colleen Goralski is looking forward to the opening of the new Peck Elementary School.

“I think with the high school being there and the middle school, it will be nice. You’ll have the schools closer together. It’s going to be a beautiful school,” said Goralski, who has a student at Peck and one at Wolfe Middle School. “This is an amazing school district. Peck has some amazing people, staff-wise.”

With a bond issue, bonds are sold in the capital markets at a date determined by the district, a financial adviser and an underwriter. Upon closing, funds generated from the bond sale are deposited in the district’s construction fund and are available to spend for completion of the projects listed in the bond proposal. The funds are limited in their use to approved projects. Funds may not be spent on school employee salaries or benefits.

The current Peck building on Engleman Road in Warren will undergo renovations to house the district’s Academy 21 and Homeschool Partnership programs. If space allows, there could be other programs down the road at Peck.

The ECC building also will undergo renovations via the bond issue, which is where Roose Elementary School in Warren will relocate. Once the move occurs, the Roose building on Masch Avenue will be demolished. The goal, on behalf of the district, is to sell the land to developers to build housing similar to that of the current neighborhood.

The bond projects will be completed in three series. District officials have posted a “bond schedule overview” at www.clps.org.

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