By SUE SUCHYTA
Sunday Times Newspapers
TRENTON – Progress on school bond projects transitioned at the end of August away from a construction focus to preparing the buildings once more for students and teachers.
In a written update to Mayor Kyle Stack, Trenton Public Schools Supt. Rodney Wakeham thanked her and city officials for their support and guidance with a waterline restructuring for Hedke Elementary School, and confirmed that construction site cleanup would be complete before staff and students returned.
Wakeham said in an Aug. 19 memo, received by Stack Aug. 26, that the elementary kindergarten rooms were scheduled for completion at the start of the instructional year, while the elementary gym, cafeteria and music room additions are slated for a January 2020 completion.
The old elementary gym will be converted to a media center and makerspace in June 2020, with repurposing of the old media center, kitchen and locker rooms scheduled for September 2020.
Wakeham said four middle school projects are in the initial planning phases: the creation of a STEM makerspace, the construction of student collaborative spaces, replacement of the middle school track, and replacement and relocation of the middle school tennis courts. He said at the request of Trenton Parks and Recreation, pickleball markings will be added to the middle school tennis courts.
Groundbreaking for the high school projects, which are slated for April 2020, are in the final planning stages, Wakeham noted.
A new indoor swimming pool will be built south of the current weight room and the Trojan Café, extending south toward West Road, while the old pool area will be converted into an athletic and physical education area. He said the existing weight room will be repurposed into a performing arts room.
A new stadium entrance will include a ticket booth, restrooms and a concession area, athletic lighting will be replaced, a multi-use turf surface will be added and the high school track will be replaced.
Wakeham said Parks and Recreation officials reviewed the improvements.
The superintendent said the high school will have an improved community entrance at the main entrance, away from the student lot.
He said the instructional material center and media center area are being reconfigured to support student collaboration and online learning.
An agricultural science area will be added near the east science wing, and the auto tech shop will be upgraded.
Wakeham said the main educational offices are in the final installation stages for an upgraded access management system, which includes magnetic door locks, office video surveillance, visitor identification checks and badge processing, and an emergency lockdown button.
He said initial planning has been completed for a maintenance facility on Arthurs Middle School property, near the mechanical area, which will provide storage for fleet vehicles, an equipment maintenance area, skilled trade workshop, grounds crew storage and workspace, offices for the facilities operations, as well as an educational storage area.
Wakeham said transportation would not occur at the middle school site, since it is too imbedded in a neighborhood setting. He said the district will continue to partner with Dean Transportation for student and extracurricular transportation, and Dean has an interest in the current service building property to serve as a hub for Trenton as well as other future Downriver transportation services.
Wakeham confirmed that Trenton city officials would be included in discussions before any additional plans for the site were negotiated.
(Sue Suchyta can be reached at [email protected])