CCS bond update includes new junior high design

INDEPENDENCE TWP. — Projects made possible by voter approval of the Clarkston Community Schools bond proposal in Nov. 2022 are moving along, with the latest update surrounding the soon-to-be-new Clarkston Junior High School.
Nearly 16 months ago, residents approved a school bond proposal that would provide up to $197,500,000 for district-wide improvements, with no tax rate increase to taxpayers over the current-year debt millage rate.
At the Feb. 12 CCS Board of Education meeting, details were presented on the junior high phase of the projects.
“We are into the ‘implement’ phase and in industry lingo, that’s known as ‘construction documents,’” said GMB architect Mitch Duyser. “What that really means is we are beyond the point of making most of the design decisions and our attention has focused to putting the drawings and specifications together that we need to hand out to contractors to put their bids together. We’re in the last leg of putting together the technical documents needed to go out to bid for the project.”
Duyser added details on numerous improvements on how people enter and exit the site compared to the current layout.
“Currently, everyone comes in up that main drive,” Duyser said. “Parents, buses, staff, everybody comes up that way. We are splitting up that traffic with the new design so the entrance off of Eastlawn (Avenue), that will be for staff and buses. Buses will pull up along that side of the building to drop students in the morning, pick them up in the evening, and that will also be the staff parking lot. Then down along the the bottom side of the building entering in off of Waldon and Middle Lake (roads) will be two separated drop-off loops. We’re splitting up the traffic into as many separate feeds as possible to help minimize the amount of congestion that happens on the site while still maintaining access around the building accomodating events and all the other activities that happen on this site from the elementary school and athletics as well.
“There will be improvements out on Waldon Road as well. That road getting widened for a small portion in front of (Clarkston Elementary) to provide for an extended left-hand turn lane into both the main entry into the campus and also at Eastlawn again to help alleviate any concerns of traffic issues out on that road.”
The existing Performing Arts Center will be next to the new gym.
Danielle Eschner, senior project manager with Auch Construction, said this is a phased project, being put together over four years.
“We’ll start this coming summer 2024, going through 2028,” Eschner said. “Phase I of this project is going to be the new gym, so we’ll construct that new gym in that main entry courtyard area. Along with that during next summer, we’ll also be replacing the existing grass turf with field turf, and that will allow for practices and such to go on as we’re building and as we’re taking up more of the site as we move around.”
Phase II includes demolishing the existing gym and building the new two-story classroom wing, kitchen and cafeteria. Phase III includes renovation of the Career and Technical Education area, and Phase IV includes building new Fine Arts and STEM classrooms.

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