APS to seek input on facility study

ALPENA – Alpena Public Schools Property Committee discussed a draft facility study conducted by DeVere Construction and IDI Architecture, Engineering and Consulting, and will be asking for the community’s recommendation on which projects to put at the top of the list.

A list of building and renovation recommendations was prioritized into three options by IDI and DeVere, and presented to the committee for review. These options are only suggestions by the architect company and construction company, and have been prioritized according to both companies opinions.

The list of all needed repairs and wanted renovations add up to over $100 million, and includes repairs to the currently closed Long Rapids Elementary and Sunset Elementary.

“We have an elementary population we have to service,” Superintendent Brent Holcomb said. “There is no preconceived notion. We’re not sure how it’s going to pan out. When we look at the options there are a few things that are givens … but these options could morph. This group that has put together the facility study has made some assumptions and put together some possible options, but the process will be fluent based on input from the community.”

Public meetings for input on the facility projects most likely will start in February after the district goes through the study to determine some of the top priorities that will be presented for input. A proposed millage would bring in about $30 million to cover the projects that were put toward the top of the list, with community input.

The committee is looking at a few projects such as improvements to Ella White Elementary, the high school, parking at the high school and some renovations at Thunder Bay Junior High.

“We want the community input to help make a decisions,” Holcomb said. “There is some duplication and overlap in the facilities study, and we have to balance what needs to be prioritized and get the community opinion.”

Holcomb said APS will have to accept the options sheet from IDI and DeVere at face value, and work with the community to see how the board will take the study and make it a manageable project.

“There is no way we can do everything in the option sheet,” Holcomb said. “We will look at the study again at the January committee meeting, and plan on presenting it to the board in January. Public meetings could start as early as February. Hopefully we will gather a clear picture of what the community is going to report.”

Nicole Grulke can be reached via email at ngrulke@thealpenanews.com or by phone at 358-5687. Follow Nicole on Twitter @ng_alpenanews.