CADILLAC — Classes resume and students will fill the halls on Monday, but construction will continue at Cadillac High School.
Cadillac Area Public Schools Superintendent Jennifer Brown said exterior construction will continue to be heavy until the snow blows in later this year. The hope is that the second floor of the new addition will be framed with cement blocks and under a roof to allow interior work.
She also said that over the past month, drywall has been hung in the renovated high school’s locker room, kitchen and office. Windows have also been installed in the offices. Similarly, fire suppression has been installed and is complete in the art and music rooms, kitchen, gym, locker rooms and offices.
Over the next few weeks and months, Brown said community members will see the first floor interior walls go up on the new addition and the second floor frame will be built and covered. Those things will be the biggest changes people will see from the outside, Brown said.
She also said disruption associated with the construction should be minimal for students and staff once classes resume on August 29.
“We are delighted that construction is taking place in areas of the building that we are not using. We are confident that we can separate the building and the educational spaces we are using this year,” she said.
Other upcoming projects associated with the construction include auditorium renovations beginning in early 2023 and Veterans Memorial Stadium renovations beginning in October. Brown also said the tennis courts are nearly complete and only a few items remain on the punch list, such as touch-up paint and fixing doors that don’t open and close properly. .
Although the courts are nearing completion and tennis teams are using them, Brown said they are keeping them closed to the public for the short term as they want to ensure all work is completed so that the warranty is maintained. She also said that the courts are close to much of the ongoing construction work. It is anticipated that the grounds will not be completed until next summer.
“We were allowed to give access to the tennis team, but not to the general public,” Brown said.
Over the two years, Brown said there will be ongoing interior renovations to the existing high school complex, including science classrooms, a robotics lab, orchestra space and classrooms in the 400 wing. She also said that areas with major renovations to the existing complex will take place after the new addition to the old secondary part of the building is completed. The project remains on schedule.
On February 14, the CAPS Board of Education held a groundbreaking ceremony that marked the beginning of the final phase of construction. The building bond financing was passed in 2018 by district voters and was designed to impact all buildings in the district with $65.5 million in renovations, additions and improvements.
The majority of funds generated from the bond, $32.5 million, support the renovation of the junior/senior high school. The central office will also be relocated to the school. These projects are the last to start.
Highlights of this final phase of High School Bonds construction include a renovated auditorium with new seating, lighting, paint, flooring and stage, a new HVAC system with air conditioning throughout, and a renovated classroom space in the lobby 400, including science, art, and tape rooms, and 30 new classrooms in an annex building.
The school project will be carried out in phases. The first phase began in January and is expected to be completed in late fall 2023. Phase II work is expected to be completed in the summer months of 2022, 2023 and 2024 and will overlap with Phases I, III and IV . Phase III is the auditorium; this work is scheduled from winter 2023 to fall 2023. Phase IV is scheduled from winter 2024 to fall 2024.
The high school project is expected to be completed in 2024.