Saline Area Schools Superintendent Scot Graden’s outlines security improvement plans for Liberty School, which will take place along with other bond work in the district during phase two of the project over the summer of 2017.
Saline Area Schools Board of Education trustees heard a comprehensive status report on bond projects from Superintendent Scot Graden Tuesday night at the first of their two regularly scheduled October meetings.
Graden said phase two of bond work scheduled for the summer of 2017 will cost around $13 million and include projects at the high school, middle school, senior center and Liberty School.
“If you remember, we did about $14 million last year, so when you think about it from a pure dollars standpoint, all the work done at Pleasant Ridge, all the site work done, we’re looking at something very similar from a volume standpoint next year,” Graden said.
The street connecting Liberty School and the middle school will see much needed improvements, according to Graden.
“We’re going to rebuild Thibault Drive,” he said, noting the rough nature of the road. “That’s a key spot for us and that service drive sees a lot of traffic.”
Parking will also be addressed to improve traffic flow and safety.
“We’re doing a lot of site work at the middle school and senior center,” he said. “The key component is reconfiguring that area of the parking lot.”
Some of the more confusing aspects of the Liberty lot will also be reconfigured, according to Graden.
Additionally, space will be created inside the Liberty building to become the new home of both Pooh Corner preschool and the Early Childhood Special Education program, according to Graden.
“Bringing students to this building will continue to add energy and life to this building,” he said, mentioning the handful of program that already make their home there. “To the extent that we have kids and students in the building and activities with that, I think that does add school feel and has some value and we want to make sure it’s a special environment for our students.”
The Liberty building will also see similar safety improvements as those at Pleasant Ridge, including secure entry doors by the front office. The board of education council chambers will also be redone to allow for more accessible and usable meeting space, Graden said.
The middle school media center will be revamped into an intuitive “hub-like environment,” Graden said, not unlike the one recently completed and highly-praised at Pleasant Ridge.
“That’s really something that, I think, we’ll all be very proud of and I foresee us having a meeting there next year,” he said to the trustees, indicating projects like this often get people more excited than new parking lots and building infrastructure components.
Yet, site work on the east side of the high school also has to do with concrete.
“If you've been in those parking lots, you know they're continuing to kind of deteriorate,” Graden said. “We’re not looking at changing a whole lot, but rebuilding those asphalt areas that have started to degrade, and then also adding a walkway, a pedestrian walkway, kind of mid-point between the two roundabouts that would lead over to Harvest and allow for some transition between major events on either side of the road.”
The next regularly scheduled meeting of the board of education will take place on Oct. 25 at 6:30 p.m. at Liberty School.