2012-05-31 / Front Page

Summer renovations set for school district

Big Bay de Noc School plans “major” project

GARDEN – Big Bay de Noc School will be undergoing renovations this summer – making improvements to various sections of the building. The district’s board of education received an update on the project’s timeline during a recent regular meeting.

According to Superintendent Bill Pistulka, bids for the approximately $250,000 project went out on May 17, and will be opened publicly on May 31 at 1 p.m. The project will include: the renovation of the existing kitchen; removal and replacement of the carpeting in the computer lab; the removal and replacement of the suspended ceiling system in seven classrooms and offices; and the replacement of a heat and air vent in the gymnasium.

The board plans to meet on June 5 at 7 a.m. to determine what bids to accept, said Pistulka.

“We are hoping to complete this in a timely manner this summer, so that everything is ready to go in the fall,” he explained. “The kitchen renovation is the primary focus of the project – certainly we need that up and ready to go by the time school begins.”

The chosen construction crew will be gutting the kitchen area, and making updates such as changing the traffic flow for staff and students, as well as the location of the refrigerator and freezer, Pistulka said.

“It will be more user-friendly, easily accessible for vendors and food service people, and more efficient for students to be served,” he added. “It will be a major undertaking.”

Pistulka noted the school would attempt to salvage some of the kitchen equipment, if at all possible.

Funding for the project will be taken from the district’s sinking fund, which has a current balance of $420,000.

“With this project, we won’t even expend our annual funds this year, so we’ll be able to expand further down the road, as more funds accrue,” Pistulka explained.

In other business, the board also discussed budget information for the upcoming school year.

“We actually received good news recently; that our MESSA (Michigan Education Special Services Association) health insurance rates are not going up, and will actually cost us less than we originally thought,” Pistulka said. “This is really positive, adding approximately $30,000 to our fund equity.”

The district’s projected fund balance for the 2012-13 school year is $200,000, he explained, and the board hopes to maintain that balance. The board canceled the regular June 11 meeting, but will hold a June 20 meeting to tackle both school and budget issues, Pistulka added.

Board members also approved applicants for various 2012-13 coaching positions, and two applications for the varsity boys’ basketball coaching position are being considered, pending interviews.

The board was updated on the upcoming co-op football program with Manistique Area Schools, and parents and potential players were visited by Manistique High School’s Varsity Coach Todd Kangas.

“We are hopeful as many as 10 players will be coming to Manistique for football,” explained Pistulka.

Transportation for the players is still up in the air, he added.

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