By BOB OLIVER
DEARBORN — Construction projects scheduled for the first year of renovation work, as part of the SMART bond, are set to begin this summer after the Dearborn Public Schools Board of Education approved awarding of several bid contracts at the April 14 board meeting.
The contracts, which total $1.83 million, will go to seven companies for work associated with demolition, plumbing, HVAC, asphalt paving, lockers, digital signs and general trades.
DPS Director of Communication David Mustonen said roughly $13 million is budgeted to be spent in work this year, which will begin at the end of this month with construction for new team room facilities and a concession area at Edsel Ford High School.
“We will begin the work a Edsel Ford and then throughout the summer months we’ll be doing a variety of projects at a lot of our other buildings,” Mustonen said. “Projects such as roof work and plumbing will be done this summer.”
Roofs are scheduled to be fixed or replaced at McDonald, Lindbergh, Snow, Smith elementary schools; Stout Middle School; and Dearborn High School, and new lockers will be installed Salina, Maples, Lowrey, Stout and Howard.
The asphalt paving costs will be for the resurfacing of parking lots at Lindbergh, Becker and McCollough and a playground area at Howard.
Mustonen said the construction work for additions to William Henry, Henry Ford and Geer Park elementary schools are slated to begin in the fall, and are not expected to greatly interfere with classes when they resume.
The projects are the first phase of construction for the district’s $76 million bond proposal that was approved by voters last November. The name is an acronym that stands for security, modifications, additions, renovations, technology and transportation, which are the items that will be addressed with money from the bonds.
DPS Supt. Brian Whiston said a lot of the projects had to wait until the school year ended and the buildings were empty, something that he wanted the community to realize.
“We said when the bond got approved that we would begin the work over the summer and it would run for about two and a half years years,” Whiston said. “But when people don’t see any work for six or seven months (after an election) they wonder what’s going on, but we have said all along that we would wait until summer and now we are ready to get started.”
He said the district plans to have a section of its website dedicated to bond work soon.
“We will add it so that taxpayers can follow the bond projects and see what exactly they are, when they’ll begin, the expected dates of completion and cost information associated with each,” Whiston said. “That way the public can keep track of how we are doing with the bond projects.”
(Bob Oliver can be reached at [email protected])