It’s back to school for Lowell Area Schools students. We caught up briefly with Superintendent Greg Pratt to see how projects are coming along now that the school bond passed in May and construction at the former St. Mary’s School building.
Simultaneous Work to Take Place
Funding using money from the bond will take place with an emphasis on “putting learning environments at the forefront” according to Pratt. “Many parts of the project will be worked on at similar times. We have started with the design of Alto classrooms, Middle School additions, Murray Lake site work and Bushnell heating and cooling.” he remarks.
Representatives for the District are currently in the planning and design phases for projects. Once specific requirements for each project have been established, bids from contractors will be accepted. Pratt indicated he hopes the first set of project will be bid upon sometime in November.
Curiosity Corner Move
Renovation of the St. Mary’s building, which was purchased in late 2018, continues. It is anticipated that Curiosity Corner Preschool, currently housed in Bushnell Elementary School, will move to the new building in January 2020. Classrooms currently being utilized by the preschool will become space for reading programs and additional classrooms, especially as the district continues to grow with several new housing developments in the district footprint.
With the move, preschool students will have the luxury of their own building and space to learn, explore, and play.
Pre-Labor Day School Start
This is the third and final year of the current waiver from the State of Michigan allowing schools in the Kent County Intermediate School District (Kent ISD) to start prior to Labor Day. The final decision on whether schools embraced the waiver was up to individual districts. According to the last data available to Pratt, 43 of the 56 state’s ISDs have obtained waivers from the state.
Districts in Kent County went with this schedule change in order to line up with the Kent ISD schedule. Many high school students, including those in Lowell, attend classes through the ISD, which begins in August. Pratt indicated that Kent ISD is again looking at another waiver to cover districts under their umbrella. “There have been some changes to the process, but getting input is a part of it.” he says.
Back to School
While sports teams have already begun practice and teachers have been in classrooms preparing for the new school year, today is the official first day of the 2019-2020 school year. Make it a great one Red Arrows!