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Update On Bond Renovations At Houghton-Portage Township Schools

Progress is being made on improvements to the Houghton-Portage Township School District, made possible by a $10.9 million bond passed by voters in May 2017.  School Superintendent Doreen Klingbeil says they were able to get started on interior and exterior projects right away last spring because of favorable weather.

The most visible of those projects was the athletic complex.  Klingbeil said, “We were able to start tearing that apart and start preparing it for some of the improvements and so we did get quite a bit of that done and do have a few things to finish up in the spring. We also, on the inside, were able to do some different things that we had to take care of in here with some heating and system works, thermostats, different things. We removed the lockers and installed new lockers in the hallway and in the gym locker rooms as well.”  Other work included replacing ceiling tile, modifications to duct work, and replacing carpets.

Outside work, in addition to the athletic complex, included the parking lot, roof repairs on the main building, and replacing the roofing on the field house. The parking lot at the elementary school was also worked on and the new access road was built in partnership with the city of Houghton.

The floods of last summer did not have a major affect on the renovations at the school because, even though they lost a few days of work due to the flood response, the project overall was slightly ahead of schedule thanks to the good weather early on.

Winter and the presence of students brought work to a halt but renovations will continue as soon as the snow melts.  “We really have to finish up work on the softball and baseball areas. We have to do some final grading. We didn’t quite finish up with some of the sod placement. We still have to put up backstop and some fencing. There’s also a water irrigation system for watering that has to be taken care and then some final grading,” Klingbeil said.  The striping of the new track will also have to be completed since that work was delayed because of the rainy fall season.

Further renovations in the interior of both the high school and middle school and the elementary school will be done during the summer when the students are on break. That work includes replacing countertops, work on the bathrooms, and replacing windows. In the auditorium, new curtains will be installed along with a new sound system and lighting upgrades. A canopy for the drop off area at the elementary school will also be constructed.

The goal is to have all of the work completed by the time students return in the fall.

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