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Short-term, long-term projects discussed for Pied Piper

News Photo by Crystal Nelson Pied Piper School is pictured on Thursday at 444 Wilson Street. The Alpena-Montmorency-Alcona Educational Service District Board of Education’s Facility Committee discussed many short term and long term projects for the school on Wednesday.

ALPENA — Several upcoming projects for Pied Piper School were prioritized Wednesday during the Alpena-Montmorency-Alcona Educational Service District Board of Education’s Facility Committee meeting.

Chairman Nick Brege said educational service district officials would like to complete some short-term projects over the summer, including the purchase of new mobile room dividers and installation of a water bottle filling station in the school.

Barrier-free improvements for wheelchair bound students were also discussed, but those improvements would be considered long-term projects, he said.

Brege said the size of student groups can fluctuate from year to year and mobile room dividers would allow school officials to adjust the size of a room to meet classroom needs on any given year. The dividers would replace the school’s current, older dividers.

“I’m not sure if they are original to the building, or if they were added at some point in the future, but anyway, they’re several decades old and with the moving pieces they are just getting to the point where they no longer function,” he said.

Educational Service District officials do not know the full scope of barrier-free projects that are needed at the school, but Brege said it could include projects like widening doorways and remodeling layouts so there is enough space for students.

Brege said the district will need to hire an expert specializing in Americans with Disabilities Act compliance to identify what needs to be brought up to code or meet the requirements of the act in order to meet the needs of the students. He said the expert would help to identify the scope and cost of the project.

“Once we have some sort of scope developed, the planning and the construction bidding would be done during the school year,” he said, referring to the 2021-2022 academic year. “It’s more like a next summer type of project and it may be ongoing depending on which areas have the most priority and how much funding is available to tackle each section of the building within any given year.”

Although the cost of the two short-term projects fall below the district’s spending threshold that would require board of education approval, Brege said the board would be updated on the projects during its next meeting on May 13.

Crystal Nelson can be reached at 989-358-5687 or cnelson@thealpenanews.com.

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