Written by DEBBIE ROGERS Sentinel Staff Writer
Tuesday, 23 April 2013 10:22
MILLBURY - Plans for an expansion of the new Lake High School are on the fast track.
The board of education approved last week hiring the Collaborative Inc., Toledo, for architectural services, construction documents, bidding and construction administration services for the "build out" for a cost not to exceed $24,000. The company, which designed the newly-built high school, was also hired last month for $10,000 to do the design.
Superintendent Jim Witt said everyone involved in the project is "cautiously optimistic" that the five new classrooms in a 10,000-square-foot space will be ready for the 2013-14 school year.
Once it's done, the eighth grade will take over the new space on the second floor of the high school. Fifth-graders will fully move into the middle school and get on the middle-school bell schedule, which is 45 minutes earlier than the 8:45 a.m. elementary start.
Witt stressed that this project is continuing an area that was already planned.
"We will not, I emphasize, we will not be adding on to the high school," he said, reading from a statement at Wednesday's meeting. "There is a shell of an area already with a rooftop unit in place, rough-ins for electrical and other structural mandates ready to go."
The new high school, which cost $25.5 million and is 144,350-square-foot, was built after a tornado destroyed the former facility in a June 2010 tornado. It opened to students in August.
The expansion is expected to cost $300,000 to $450,000, said board president Tim Krugh.
The money for the expansion is coming from the Joseph Baker estate. Baker, who died in 2008, was a 1940s graduate of Lake High School. He never married or had children and went on to become an engineer at Ford Motor Co, Krugh said in a November 2010 interview.
Witt said Baker credited Lake with his success and left his estate to the school district.
Baker's heirs had contested the gift and the estate had been tied up in court.
Since being resolved in the school district's favor, Lake has received $220,000.
"It seemed like it would be a good usage of those dollars," Witt said. "We're so grateful and so thankful."
Krugh said the estate will not cover all of the expansion's expense. Treasurer Jeff Carpenter estimated the cost at $30 to $45 per square foot, which is an "extraordinary" price.
The expansion is needed so soon after the high school opened due to Walbridge Elementary being shuttered last year in a $1.15 million wave of district-wide cuts to save money. The kindergartners and first-graders from Walbridge were moved to Lake Elementary for this school year.
Also at the meeting, the board:
• Accepted the retirement resignation of first-grade teacher Rita Zarembski, who has 35 years of service.
• Accepted the resignations of Bob Olwin and Karis Norton.
• Approved donations of two Smart Response Systems valued at $3,672 from L.E.O., $1,000 for quiz bowl from Lubrizol Advanced Materials, $100 for quiz bowl from Robert Armstrong, $50 for quiz bowl each from Witzler Shank Funeral Home and Mauder Heating and Air, and a DVD and book set valued at $30 from Tom Herman.
• Recognized the quiz bowl team, which is competing nationally this summer; fifth-grader Brent Matus who earned a superior on a science project; Gabrielle Matlack and Trevor Walsh for their community service work, and eighth-graders who took a field trip to learn about the Holocaust.
• Went into executive session to discuss negotiations and confer with an attorney. No action was taken.