Schoolcraft Elementary School construction update

By Kathy Oswalt-Forsythe

Construction on the new Schoolcraft Elementary School is progressing on budget and on schedule, pleasing the planning committee and Superintendent Rick Frens. On April 13, this reporter met with Frens, donned a hard hat, and took a tour to see progress at the new facility.

The tour began with the main offices at the front of the building. This space includes offices, conference areas, and teacher and staff work rooms. The security concerns of parents and community were considered with the design of the front entry and placement of the administrative offices. A buzzer system will let visitors through the first entrance, which allows staff a second screen of an individual. Once allowed through a second door and into the school, visitors enter a spacious entry where individuals will decide whether to continue forward on the main floor or climb the stairs to the second level.

The building is filled with windows and natural light.

Grade-level pods and wings extend from the main hallways. The classrooms are large, and pairs of classrooms are joined by a shared office space.

Common space for collaboration between classes or grade-level projects is strategically placed in hallway alcoves with colorful acoustic tiles to absorb sound. The media center is designed for easy access and also includes many windows.

This day, the wooden gym floor was being installed below a colorful Golden Eagle sign hanging high on the walls. And the building’s cafeteria is another large, carefully planned space. Electricians were installing lighting in the upper hallways, and other contractors were at work in a mechanical room.

New classroom furniture, carefully selected and ordered, allows for various configurations and groupings in classrooms.

After careful budgeting and strategic planning, it is satisfying for all involved to see the project proceeding as planned, and it is a point of pride for administration as the new school will be finished and open when school begins next year.

Frens looks forward to welcoming students, staff and the community to the building this fall. “I just can’t wait!”

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