As we move into the month of August, we have now been working on this project for almost two months. We are in the final stages of the project where most of the mechanical, plumbing, electrical, and framing has now been completed. In some areas, the drywall is going up and the spaces are becoming more recognizable. Over the next few weeks, the final finishing touches will take place as they work to mud, sand, and paint the walls. They will also begin putting the remaining flooring and tile in the playrooms, bathrooms, and classrooms. This is the crunch time to have the project completed and ready for the start of school. On the outside of the building, the student/bus drop off area has taken great shape. The next step is to put the final cement pavement down for completing the walkway and put down the asphalt for the drive. A significant amount of work is being done each day to get us closer to a completed project that will best serve the students and staff at West Campus.
On Monday, August 8th, the parking lot at the South Street site was torn apart and removed by heavy equipment. With each section of the old parking lot removed, it is with great excitement that we will have a future parking lot with minimal waves and cracks that has historically collected water, creating puddles and ice. I appreciate the patience of the staff at the South Street location as they coordinate parking at an offsite spot to accommodate the work necessary for this project. As the next few weeks will require adjustment, the final outcome of a great parking lot will be worth it. Also, David has done a nice job on the outside to freshen up the garage and railings to have a new look that will match the parking lot. Thank you, David and the maintenance crew for all your assistance in the hard work to get that garage painted.
At the KRESA Service Center lower level, there are some major renovations and modifications to REMC that includes the addition of a REMC Innovation Center. In alignment with the awesome services and support of REMC both at the KRESA Service Center and with our local school districts, a new REMC Innovation Center has been developed to support instructional staff in their pursuit of projects, materials, and activities that engage student learning. This REMC Innovation Center is intended to provide an environment that is conducive to creative thinking and exploration of ideas that enhance learning opportunities with 21st century technological learning tools. With the coordinated effort of many individuals in REMC, Technology Department, and Maintenance, this project is coming to life and will be a showcase for many to advance their skills and instructional practices.
As the school year winds to a close at West Campus, the construction work will be going into full renovation mode over the summer. With the incredible support of the staff in preparing for this transition, the first phase of moving staff to the upper level conference area began on Tuesday, June 14th. The office furniture was broken down and then reassembled in the new location. We continue to finish the electrical and technology drops to connect all of the equipment in the new locations and we intend to have this completed no later than next Monday.
While this work has been taking place, the gym area has also gone through some initial modifications that include a retrofit of updated mechanical HVAC system for that area. The floor tile is currently being removed in preparation for the new playroom and office area.
Once the lower level has been fully cleared, the major construction work will begin with building and renovating the area for 4 new classrooms and making improvements in the Head Start classrooms and bathroom entrance areas.
In coordinating this renovation, there are 9 subcontractors working collaboratively and timely to finish this project. In addition to these 9 subcontractors, we are working closely with our contracted technology cabling consultants, furniture contractors, Tower Pinkster (architecture), and Miller-Davis (construction consultants). We are also fortunate to have the assistance and guidance of our maintenance/custodial crew and our technology staff to facilitate further support of coordination and implementation of this complex project. In all, there are a large number of staff both internally and externally who are working extremely hard to obtain a very positive outcome at the conclusion of this project.
We are also working to change the signage throughout the building to color code different programs that are available in the building. As we move programs and we have more visitors in the building, our signage will also improve to provide assistance.
This summer, the parking lot at the South Street site will get a new facelift. As much as we have come to learn to adapt with the many unique aspects of the parking lot (swimming pool, ice skating rink, roller coaster effect?), we will be tearing out this lot over the summer to replace it with a new smoother surface that allows for proper drainage and support. We will be drafting the bid specifications very soon and seek bids for this project.
A big thank you goes out to the team that assisted in pulling weeds, removing overgrown shrubs, planting flowers, and placing mulch in the front and back areas of KRESA Service Center. The new mulch and flowers bring a much needed color and softening of the building to make it more inviting and comfortable. There is still more work to be done to finish the work around the KRESA Service Center both inside and out. This project will continue to take place over the summer. Keep an eye out for additional improvements around the building. The Beatification committee will continue to meet as we review further improvements and changes.
With the help and guidance of our REMC staff and Instructional Technology team, we have been making renovations to the REMC at KRESA Service Center. The REMC Innovation Center will be a place where instructional staff can come and learn about how to assist and develop materials to provide support to students in a project-based learning environment. As we work to increase the learning and engagement of our students across the region, our REMC and Instructional Technology team are changing the footprint at KRESA to afford for a new landscape for student learning. This renovation will set the stage for an atmosphere where instructional materials continue to be readily available with an extension of this resource. With the help of the REMC staff, Instructional Technology staff, and Maintenance/Custodial staff, this project should be completed by the end of July and be ready for supportive training to occur prior to the start of school.
These are the highlights for now. Continued information will be provided as we go forward through this site and through the Leadership Stew. Please stay connected as we work on these renovations this summer. Thank you for taking the time to review the update.
We posted the bid specifications and they include nine different construction-related work areas associated with this project. At the end of the day Thursday, April 14, the companies that may be interested in working on the project and submitting a bid had the opportunity to visit West Campus and review the scope of the project and what is entailed in completing the renovation.
This is the deadline date for submission of the bids to Kalamazoo RESA. At the end of the day, the bids will be opened and reviewed. After this meeting, the bids will be explored for further reference and quality check in correlation to their bid price.
The Kalamazoo RESA Board of Education will be meeting at 8 a.m. to review the recommended bid awards. Upon Board approval of the recommended bids, both Miller Davis and Tower Pinkster would be informed to begin coordinating the renovation project with the companies awarded the project.
The renovation project officially begins with the initial work being conducted on the second level of West Campus in both the conference room and gymnasium areas. Any major demolition required is anticipated to occur after school hours to reduce noise disruption during the school day.
Boxes for staff in the lower level have been delivered to begin the initial stages of placing items in a secured box for the move upstairs. With the construction in the upper level, the anticipated plan would be to complete the necessary work by the first part of June so that the transition to the new space with materials can occur and be completed prior to June 17.
As we move into May, I will have more specific information on the status of the work and the different phases of anticipated completion. Stay tuned for more information as we go forward.
Over the past few weeks, there has been a great deal of discussion and feedback provided by Kalamazoo RESA staff on proposed renovations at West Campus and structural improvements at all of our facilities. Kalamazoo RESA is currently working with Tower Pinkster to review our building needs to assist us in providing a work environment that improves our services to students, staff, and programs. Our goal is to improve our work settings to be more efficient and effective. We will look at the work we do, how we do the work, and where the work can be done best. With this in mind, we need to support the concept that the form of the work environment needs to fit with the function of the services we deliver. At Kalamazoo RESA , we provide a very diverse set of services and with the unique nature of our jobs, your feedback is very important to us in order to establish a sound, reasonable, and viable change in our work settings.
This is the first of many future blogs that will serve as a forum for information updates on proposed renovation projects and modifications throughout Kalamazoo RESA. It is intended to keep you informed of the progress on projects and potential timelines.
This is a big project and the Kalamazoo RESA administration truly appreciates the continuous feedback we have received from staff affected by the changes in the work setting at West Campus.
After presenting final proposed plans to staff at West Campus, the sketches of the modifications were discussed with Tower Pinkster (our architectural firm) and Miller-Davis (building contractors) to get a clearer scope of the extent of this project. Per that meeting, it appears that the recommended changes are structurally sound and we move forward with this project.
The final architectural drawings by Tower Pinkster/Miller-Davis must now go to the Michigan State Department for approval. Given the fact that we are modifying an educational setting, review and approval of building renovations need to run through a process with the State Department. We anticipate receiving the approval by the end of this month of March.
With their approval, we can then move forward with developing the building contractual bids for companies to review and consider the work. Any contractual work beyond $25,000 requires a bid process. Much of this work will exceed that amount and therefore, we are required to seek cost bids from different companies that are able and willing to do the work. As we receive and open the bids, we look closely at their proposal regarding costs, quality of work, and references.
This bid process will take a couple of weeks which will extend through most of the month of April. With proposed recommended bids, the Kalamazoo RESA Board of Education will need to approve the recommended bids in order to begin the work. This is scheduled to occur at the end of April.
With the timelines in place above, we will begin the construction around May 1st. The initial work will be done in the Conference Room area and West Campus gymnasium on the Upper Level.
On March 3rd, representatives from Tower Pinkster toured the classrooms at WoodsEdge and West Campus to review all aspects of the changes needed to these environments.
We will keep you informed of any changes to this schedule and continuously update this Renovation Blog on the status of the construction project at West Campus.
In the fall, we contracted with Tower Pinkster to consult with us on our current facilities and how to best modify them (where necessary) to improve the work setting. As indicated previously, we look at effective use of space that improves efficiency in order to ensure that the form of the work environment is aligned with the function of what needs to be done.
Every administrator of our programs completed a survey developed by Tower Pinkster and they engaged in an interview to review the information provided. We continue to work with Tower Pinkster consultants to review our entire Kalamazoo RESA programs for potential improvements. More information will come on this project in future months.
One of the projects this spring/summer that we will be working with Tower Pinkster to develop is a repaving of the South Street parking lot. We are looking at proper drainage and resurfacing of the lot to improve the conditions.
At the Kalamazoo RESA Service Center, we have established a Beautification Committee with representatives throughout the building to provide feedback and recommendations on how to improve the look of the building and the overall environment for our staff and customers (local school district staff and community members). This committee will serve to review and propose recommendations for changes in the Kalamazoo RESA Service Center. Any suggestions of modifications and approval of such modifications will run through this Beautification Committee.
There are some modifications that have already taken place and our work has just begun. It is an exciting group that is looking at the Kalamazoo RESA Service Center canvas and exploring ways to improve the setting to be even more inviting and welcoming to staff and guests. Please note the changes in the front lobby and hallway area as a first step to these changes. We hope that you will like what we are attempting to do.
We hope that you are a frequent visitor to this blog and we appreciate any feedback you wish to give and/or any questions you may have regarding proposed renovation activities. Please let us know your thoughts and ideas. Thank you for your time. Visit soon.