Kalamazoo RESA Renovation Update

Posted by Tom Harwood on 3/15/2016

Blog Introduction and Overview

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. 


West Campus Renovation

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.

What next?

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.


Master Planning with Tower Pinkster

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.


South Street Parking Lot

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. 


Kalamazoo RESA Service Center Beautification Committee

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.


Future Communications per this Blog

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.