ESD needs $3.3M in repairs

News Photo by Julie Goldberg Scott Reynolds, superintendent of the Alpena-Montmorency-Alcona Educational Service District, shows water damage on the ceiling in one of the ESD central office rooms on Thursday.

ALPENA — Upgrades will take place at the Alpena-Montmorency-Alcona Educational Service District central office and Pied Piper School throughout the next few years, but taxpayers will not be asked to pay more for the renovations.

An estimated $3.3 million of work needs to be done at both buildings to continue their longevity, ESD Superintendent Scott Reynolds said. He said the work needs to be done to provide facilities that are safe, sound, secure, and functional for students and staff.

“Our students and our staff deserve facilities where they can have freedom from distractions of the environmental concerns that come up from inadequately heated rooms or other issues that come up,” Reynolds said.

The list of projects will be completed through three phases and not all at once, Reynolds said.

The first phase, which starts this summer, might end up taking a couple of years, and the second phase might not start for another five years, depending on district funding and when contractors are available for projects, Reynolds said.

“We want to have a running document that can tell us, ‘These are the needs that we can anticipate having the need to replace or repair in the next five years,’ and, as we replace and repair, put it on the list so we have a continuing plan, a schedule, of what to anticipate,” Reynolds said.

Pied Piper needs an estimated $1.2 million of work. That includes mechanical work, security upgrades, and improving the building overall.

The first projects at Pied Piper will be completed this summer, which is phase one of the project, including asbestos removal, boiler replacement, and the replacement of heating units. Reynolds said that price tag could be anywhere from $320,000 to $500,000.

The district received an $86,000 grant from the Michigan State Police in March to improve security at Pied Piper. That money will go toward new exterior doors, a new public address system, and window upgrades at the school. Reynolds said that will help take some burden from the $3.3 million in needs.

“Some of those were items in our plan, so we’re fortunate of the roughly $86,000 for that grant, that’s money that won’t be coming out of our funds,” Reynolds said.

The ESD central office on U.S.-23 South needs an estimated $860,000 of work, which includes upgrading the security, mechanical work, replacing the roof, and improving the building overall.

An electric panel in the central office is covered with a garbage bag to prevent leaking water from dripping on it and the ceiling in the computer server room is leaking just four feet from the servers, Reynolds said.

Each winter, the ESD facilities committee will meet to plan the next year’s projects. Reynolds said availability of contractors can be tough if they wait too long, so planning has to get started right away each year.

“Along the way, as the maintenance issues come up or priority issues that can’t wait, we’re going to address those, as needed,” Reynolds said.

Reynolds said the district will not ask voters to approve a bond or sinking fund proposal in the future.

“We don’t have any intention of going to the voters to seek additional support for that,” he said.

Julie Goldberg can be reached at 989-358-5688 or jgoldberg@thealpenanews.com. Follow her on Twitter @jkgoldberg12.