By Jeff Gallatin
Major upgrades on key nonclassroom settings are among the latest round of facility improvements being acted upon by the Bay Village City School District.
The school board approved at its April 14 meeting seeking proposals for upgrading the Bay High School auditorium, as well as bids for building a media center and renovating the entrance at Westerly School. The bid package for Westerly also included electrical work at the school and four new classrooms.
Officials plan to get the work underway this summer for the latest round of projects.
“We’ve been fortunate in that we’ve been able to keep the project moving forward and the costs under control,” Superintendent Clint Keener said. “These next projects are in areas with a lot of traffic for the district.”
Referring to the Bay High School auditorium work, Keener said renovations will provide much-needed upgrades for a part of the school used frequently by the school district and the community as a whole.
The base bid for the project includes the 465 seats for the lower auditorium, while the alternate bid is for the 341 seats in the upper level of the auditorium. The work will include putting in new seats, painting and renovating the auditorium area and installing a new sound system. Current estimates for the projects are $79,050 for the lower level and $57,970 for the upper level. District officials said they hope to do both parts of the bid package in this round of work if there are sufficient funds available when the bids come back. The premium lower-level seats will take priority for being done first.
“Those are the original seats in the auditorium, so they’re in excess of 40 to 50 years old and in definite need of being replaced,” he said. “The sound system isn’t original, but it was put in during the 1980s, so it also needs to be replaced.”
Keener said officials plan to have the work done during the summer while students and faculty are out of the building.
“We want to have it done in time for the start of the 2014-15 school year,” he said.
Referring to the work at Westerly and Normandy, Keener said the upgrades will provide more room and flexibility in the two buildings. The current estimate for this portion of the project is $2.15 million.
“It’s a big undertaking. Right now, the media center at Westerly School is based in two classrooms,” he said. “Getting a separate area for the media center will free up those two rooms for classroom purposes. The media center will be more roomy and able to better handle the students’ needs in that area.”
Keener said the new entrance will provide better access to the school and make it easier when students are entering and exiting the building. The electrical portion of the project will continue the district’s work on upgrading district facilities to better handle 21st-century technology needs.
Adding the four new classrooms at Normandy allows the district more flexibility, particularly with the addition of all-day kindergarten and expanded programs, Keener said.
“It will allow us to better meet the needs of the district as it changes,” he said.
He said the district will not be able to get all the Westerly and Normandy work done this summer.
“We’re going to get that work started during the summer, with plans to work on it through the year and get it all concluded by the start of the 2015-16 school year,” he said. “We’re going have them do the work to keep the disruptions from affecting the classrooms as much as possible.”
Keener said district officials will continue to evaluate and adjust the project as needed in an effort to get the most value for the funds approved by voters in the capital improvements bond levy two years ago.