Warren Woods Public Schools Deputy Superintendent Neil Cassabon stands inside the secure entryway at Pinewood Elementary School, which was made possible with bond issue dollars.

Warren Woods Public Schools Deputy Superintendent Neil Cassabon stands inside the secure entryway at Pinewood Elementary School, which was made possible with bond issue dollars.

Photo by Deb Jacques


WWPS bond projects continue this summer

By: Maria Allard | Warren Weekly | Published August 2, 2019

 Under the bond issue, Warren Woods Middle School is getting a new steel canopy installed. When completed, it will have a cover over it.

Under the bond issue, Warren Woods Middle School is getting a new steel canopy installed. When completed, it will have a cover over it.

Photo by Deb Jacques

 Warren Woods Tower High School is getting a new athletic complex with new bleachers, a new concession stand, more restrooms, a new press box and more.

Warren Woods Tower High School is getting a new athletic complex with new bleachers, a new concession stand, more restrooms, a new press box and more.

Photo by Deb Jacques

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WARREN — When Warren Woods Public Schools staff and students return to class Sept. 3, they will be sure to notice the many building upgrades that occurred this summer.

In November 2017, taxpayers passed a $20.3 million bond issue to fund a number of districtwide building enhancements and technology updates. Projects are being worked on throughout the district this summer.

“Every building has a different combination of work being done this summer,” WWPS Deputy Superintendent Neil Cassabon said.

The bond projects fall into five basic categories: enhancing school security and student safety; remodeling and upgrading schools and school facilities, with emphasis on improving energy efficiency; upgrading and replacing technology and technology infrastructure; improving school sites, including playgrounds, parking lots, traffic areas and athletic facilities; and replacing school buses as they reach the end of their useful life.

Asbestos abatement; exterior enhancements; lighting improvements; new carpeting; heating and cooling improvements; and mechanical, electrical and plumbing improvements across the board are part of the bond package.

Wakely & Associates, based in Warren, is the architect for the projects, while Clark Construction Co., headquartered in Lansing with an office in Southfield, is the construction company for the bond improvements. Construction is going on at each building.

Cassabon said $1.3 million is going into Pinewood Elementary School. For starters, the school is getting a new secure entryway. Pinewood will have two sets of doors that visitors can enter. The second set of doors, which will be locked, lead to the front office, where every visitor will check in.

“We’ll be able to buzz people in here,” Cassabon said. “Now when visitors come in, they are forced to come into the front office before we release them to the larger part of the building.”

There also is a new principal’s office, clinic, records room and workroom at Pinewood. The classrooms are receiving new ceiling tiles and lighting, and new heating, ventilation and air conditioning, or HVAC, systems. In fact, new HVAC units are being installed throughout the district.

“These units were so old,” Cassabon said. “They were loud. We’re getting all new ventilation.”

Warren Woods Tower High School is undergoing renovations to create a new athletic complex that will cost $2.7 million. The old grandstands came down and new, larger grandstands are going up.

“We tore down the old press box and concession stand,” Cassabon said, adding that the bond issue includes a new concession stand, press box and team rooms, a new scoreboard and ticket booth, and more restrooms.

“Right now we’re a little bit behind schedule. Because of the weather, we’ve been flooded out a couple times,” Cassabon said. “We’ve having meetings to get things back on track.”

Classroom renovations also are occurring at the high school: new ceiling tiles, lighting and carpet, and a new elevator. The outside of the school also is getting a new look, primarily because the brick isn’t safe anymore.

“There’s a lot of exterior brickwork being done for safety purposes,” Cassabon said. “All the brick columns were starting to crack. They were crumbling and separating.”

At this time, however, there are no plans for a new secure entryway at WWTHS like those at the elementary schools.

“We haven’t been able to come up with a design,” Cassabon said, adding that the high school has security staff at the main doors.

After undergoing renovations that began in May, the Warren Woods Middle School auditorium has an updated look, with new seats and carpeting. The stage floor was redone and new HVAC units were installed. According to Cassabon, $700,000 in bond dollars were allocated just for the middle school auditorium.

Outside the middle school, a  new steel canopy was installed at the front entrance. A new secure front door entryway also was built.

Westwood Elementary School also underwent renovations to receive a new secure entryway, new classroom carpeting and new classroom doors.

At Briarwood Elementary School, the cafeteria flooring and classroom carpeting were replaced. Enterprise High School received new classroom flooring, new exterior doors and new office flooring.

In the spring, crews replaced doors and windows inside adult education classrooms at the Warren Woods Education Center.

“A major part of the bond issue was to put a secure entryway at the three elementary schools,” Cassabon said.

Technology updates also are part of the bond issue.

“The whole district is getting a new phone system,” Cassabon said. “We’re also replacing our card access system for our staff to gain access into buildings.”

All the projects are expected to be completed by November.

“We are thankful that the community supported our bond issue in November of 2017. I think our students and families will be excited to see all the changes that happened over the summer,” district Superintendent Stacey Denewith-Fici said in an email. “The new secure entrances at three of the buildings will offer peace of mind to parents. The new auditorium at WWMS will be a welcome change to the entire community coming to Warren Woods for events. Our new stadium will be a welcome addition to our facilities.

“Furthermore, I am extremely excited about the new technology that we will be putting in the hands of staff and students, and the infrastructure that will support all the devices that come in and out of our district on a daily basis,” Denewith-Fici said.

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