RCS gears up for phase 4 of $185 million in bond projects

By: Mary Beth Almond | Rochester Post | Published April 3, 2019

 When the bond is complete, the media centers within all the district’s schools will be remodeled and each will receive new furniture to encourage more collaborative work environments — like this updated media center at McGregor Elementary School.

When the bond is complete, the media centers within all the district’s schools will be remodeled and each will receive new furniture to encourage more collaborative work environments — like this updated media center at McGregor Elementary School.

Photo provided by Rochester Community Schools

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ROCHESTER/ROCHESTER HILLS/OAKLAND TOWNSHIP — The Rochester Community Schools district is entering phase 4 of it’s five-year, $185 million bond issue.

With three phases complete, RCS Superintendent Robert Shaner said, the progress that contractors have made on the projects is “truly remarkable.”

“We are fortunate to have such skilled professionals from Frank Rewold and Son and French Associates, who are dedicated to keeping the projects on schedule, on budget and true to the district’s mission,” Shaner said in a statement.

“Even after all these projects being bid out and bought out, we’re still under budget, so we have had some savings across the way that we were able to glean in some areas,” district Capital Projects and Facilities Director Pete Muscio said.

During the fourth phase, nine of the district’s buildings will receive improvements. This summer, the bond will address needs at Delta Kelly, Meadow Brook and North Hill elementary schools, along with Stoney Creek High School — all with a tentative completion date of this August.

Last December, crews began work on approximately $3.4 million in improvements at North Hill. Once completed, the renovations will include a new 7,700-square-foot addition; interior renovations with mechanical and electrical system upgrades; a renovated media center with new furniture; improvements to the playground; the removal of portables; and site work that will include repaving the parking lot and replacing sidewalks.

“It’s a little bit more extensive renovation work because it gets a five-classroom addition for pre-kindergarten,” Muscio explained. “Other than that, it’s just some minor interior renovations.”

The scope of work at Delta Kelly and Meadow Brook is pretty similar, according to Muscio, who said the two schools will receive renovated media centers with new furniture, playground upgrades, partial roof replacements, exterior soffit repairs, and newly paved parking areas and sidewalks. Delta Kelly will also benefit from a new secure entrance — two sets of vestibule doors, along with an immediate passage to the office, a better visitor verification system and lockdown capabilities. Meadow Brook and North Hill each received secure entrances during the first year of the bond.

Over at Stoney Creek High School, crews will complete $2.3 million in work to replace the athletic field turf and the entire school roof, add water and power to the athletic field, and renovate and add new furniture to the media center. Approximately $480,000 in improvements will also be made to the softball and baseball fields at Adams, Stoney Creek and Rochester high schools this summer — including adding power to the softball dugouts, as well as bleachers and/or batting cages, in many cases.

Brewster and University Hills elementary schools are on the list for phase 4 upgrades — but both are yearlong projects that are expected to wrap up in the summer of 2020.

“The scope of work over at Brewster and University Hills is pretty similar to what we did at Huggar and Musson,” Muscio said. “They both get additions, and then once the additions are complete, they can occupy the addition. Then we kind of leapfrog through the rest of the building, doing the first floor of the existing building first, and once that’s completed, we jump up to the second floor and complete that.”

Crews began $8.2 million in renovations at Brewster in February, and Muscio said the work will continue through May 2020. Improvements include a new 20,000-square-foot addition, the removal of portables, interior renovations with mechanical and electrical system upgrades, a new secured entrance, improvements to the playground, a renovated media center with new furniture, repaved parking lots, and replaced sidewalks.

Upgrades at University Hills will cost around $9.5 million, the largest amount for any building in phase 4. Construction — which will begin this April and wrap up in August 2020 — will include a new 20,000-square-foot addition, interior renovations with mechanical and electrical system upgrades, a new secured entrance, playground upgrades, a renovated media center with new furniture, a repaved parking lot, and new sidewalks.

In April, crews will begin $2.6 million worth of work on the district’s transportation center, demolishing the west storage building, renovating the existing building, and repaving the entire site and all sidewalks. Construction at that location is slated to wrap up in November.

During phase 4, Shaner said, community members will see large dumpsters, and construction trucks hauling debris and materials at the construction sites.

“During construction, every precaution will be taken to ensure the safety of our children and staff,” Shaner said in a statement.

District officials said environmental conditions — such as dust, noise, and air and water quality — will be carefully monitored. A fence will be built around the perimeter of each construction site, and temporary fire walls will be built in the schools in order to keep work zones separate from occupied areas. Traffic flow and parking areas will be clearly marked and defined.

The bond will address needs at the final remaining schools — Reuther and Van Hoosen middle schools, and the district administration building — during phase 5, with a tentative completion date in 2021.

For more information on the bond projects, visit www.rochester.k12.mi.us.

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