By Jeff Gallatin
School district officials hope to raise the curtain on nearly $200,000 in renovations to the Bay High School auditorium early in the 2014-2015 school year.
Daryl Stumph, assistant superintendent for operations for Bay city schools, said work is currently scheduled to be completed sometime during September.
“We’re looking at sometime between Sept. 1 and 30 for completing it,” Stumph said. “We’ve made pretty good progress on it during the summer.”
Redoing the auditorium continues the upgrades and different capital improvement projects that got underway after district voters approved a capital improvements levy two years ago.
Stumph said estimates are that the district saved more than $45,000 by completing the design and portions of the work in-house, with the current project cost estimate at $190,000. Stumph said the renovation project was designed, planned and managed by Superintendent Clint Keener, as well as Dave Newsome and himself. He said many other district workers have played a big role as well.
“The district staff led by Tony Ambrozic completed repainting of the entire space,” Stumph said. “Other district staff completed the demolition of the carpet and seating.”
He said when district officials saved money in part of the project, they then put the savings into additional work in the auditorium.
“Savings from the project enabled the district to replace the upper bowl seating and will allow the district to consider changes to the sound system and other needed upgrades in the fine arts wing,” Stumph said. “In addition, the district is selling the old seats and has sold the scrap metal from the demolition to realize additional revenue.”
With the changes, the facility will be an 800-seat auditorium that includes new seating in the upper and lower bowl, painting, lighting and new carpeting.
“ It’s going to look a lot better and be a lot better for the students and people who use it in terms of lighting and technology, and be a better place for the people using it,” Stumph said.
Since the 2014-2015 school year begins in August, Stumph said the district can still handle seating students or big groups for large indoor gatherings in the high school or even use the auditorium on a limited basis.
“They scheduled the work with the plan that plays and musicals would not be done in the auditorium until later in the year after the work is completed,” he said. “And if they need to, they can put a large crowd into the gymnasium. And if they need the stage in the auditorium, they can still use it. It’s the seating that’s being worked on in the last stages of the project.”