HEC Design now in final stages

The Harvey Education Center design is now in the final stages.  The HEC design team will be pulled together for one last meeting to provide input on finishes.  The committee will look at product types such as rubber, vinyl, linoleum, etc. as options for a resilient surface in the classrooms. We will also look at color selections for wall and trim paint, carpet options, rubber base colors and laminate colors.  The schedule is to have bid documents out by July 6th and due to the district on August 1st.  Ground breaking is scheduled for mid to late August.

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AV Upgrades will begin this summer

The district is carefully reviewing classroom AV equipment for future installation.  As a district, we want to match the new classroom technology to our instructional goals and objectives.  We plan for the HEC, high school and  middle school classrooms to be upgraded in the summer of 2019.  North Aurelius and Alaiedon in the summer of 2020 and Steele in Phase 2.

Over the summer, technology improvements ($770,000+) will include replacing switch infrastructure in each building which is currently up to 14 years old. Wireless connectivity will be significantly improved across the district.  Backup batteries will be installed in each building to provide at least one hour of power to phones in case of a power outage.  In addition, the computer labs at the elementary schools and middle schools will be re-purposed, the business classes at the high school will be upgraded, and some PA systems will be improved.

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Soil Borings will begin at Harvey Education Center

Development work will be underway at the Harvey Education Center this week. In order to test the soil surrounding the building prior to the development work beginning, soil borings will be done. This is an important step in learning about the makeup of the soil surrounding the building so the architects and engineers can put together a plan for site development. #strongersmartersafer

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Bond Projects: Phase 1 Overview

MPS Bond Phase 1 Design Process

Phase 1 of the Capital Improvement Project is fully underway with various committees forming, meeting and making final recommendations to the Capital Improvement Committee. Based on the initial plans for Phase 1, the timeline will be as follows:

May 2018 – Bond Sale Complete

August 2018 – Harvey Education Center Groundbreaking

December 2018 – Construction Bidding Process Begins for North Aurelius Elementary & Alaiedon Elementary

Spring 2019 – North Aurelius Elementary & Alaiedon Elementary Groundbreaking

August 2019 – Harvey Education Center Complete

August 2020 – North Aurelius Elementary & Alaiedon Elementary Complete

Specific information about groundbreakings and building completion will be shared with the community as plans are finalized.

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Mason Public Schools Completes Bond Sale Under Budget and Receives Strong Bond Rating

A plus graphic

Standard & Poor’s (S & P) Global Ratings raises district’s rating from ‘A’ to ‘A+’

MASON, MI – Last week, Mason Public Schools successfully completed the sale of Bonds necessary to complete Phase1 of the district’s Capital Improvement Project, as well as received an upgraded rating from Standard & Poor’s (S & P) Global Ratings for building and site bonds.

On Monday, April 16, the district successfully completed the Bond sale of the $34 million budgeted for Phase 1 of the district’s Capital Improvement Project. The district received strong competition for the Bonds, receiving seven bids total. The lowest bidder was UBS Financial Services, which provided a True Interest Cost (TIC) bid of 3.37%. The initial interest estimate submitted in the Bond application to the Department of Treasury was 4.22%. As a result, the actual debt service, which includes principal and interest, for the 2018 Bonds will be less than budgeted. The average millage levied to pay off the debt over the life of the bonds will be reduced, resulting in a savings for taxpayers.

Earlier this month, Standard & Poor’s (S & P) Global Ratings released its Bond rating for the district. S & P has upgraded the school’s Bond rating from an A to an A+. S & P takes many factors into consideration to rate a school district for Bond sales. For Mason, the A+ rating from S & P reflects the district’s positive operating performance, stable enrollment and growth of available reserves from 7.2% in fiscal 2014 to 12.7% in fiscal 2017.

“Phase 1 of the Capital Improvement Project has gotten off to a strong start with the announcement of a favorable bond rating as well as a lower-than-budgeted interest rate,” said Ronald Drzewicki, Ed.S., Superintendent of Mason Public Schools. “The district has been conservative and ambitious with the initial steps and timelines for the project. With this official kick-off, we can now move forward to design and construction all while keeping the end goal in mind – student success.”

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Mason Public Schools Auctions Surplus Items

looking down school hallway

Mason Public Schools has partnered with Sheridan Realty & Auction Co. to auction items owned by the district.

MASON, MI – The auction is currently open and will end at 1PM on April 5, 2018. The items, which currently are being housed in the district-owned pole barn are available for the community to purchase through the auction. The pole barn will be sold through a bid process which is currently underway.

After the successful passing of the $69.7 million bond proposal in November 2017, the district has been working on site and building plans as part of the Capital Improvements that will take place. The Harvey Education Center, which will be renovated to house Mason Public Schools Child Development Services and kindergarten programs beginning in fall 2019, is the first to undergo design and construction. The pole barn and contents are located adjacent to the Harvey Education Center and need to be removed to continue with the Capital Improvement plans.

To bid on the auction items, visit https://www.sheridanauctionservice.com/project/details/31053/.

If you have any questions about the auction, please contact Doug Sheridan, Sheridan Realty & Auction Co. at doug@sheridanauctionservice.com or 517.676.9800.

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Mason Public Schools’ Board Approves Over $770,000 in Bids for Technology Infrastructure Improvements

Student using computer at school media center

Capital improvements to network, wireless and cabling systems will begin in late Spring following the approval of a $69.7M bond proposal in November 2017

MASON, MI – At the Mason Public Schools Board of Education meeting on Monday evening, the Board approved bids for technology infrastructure improvements with installation to begin in late Spring. The Board of Education approved contracts totaling $773,193.06. The technology contracts will be with Delta Network Services in the amount of $588,384.06 for network, wireless and UPS (uninterruptible power supply) improvements, Universal Cabling System in the amount of $48,184.00 for fiber optic cabling and Datacom Group in the amount of $136,625.00 for low voltage cabling.

Technology improvements will include replacing switch infrastructure in each building, some if which is 14 years old. Wireless Internet access will be significantly improved by increasing access points from 112 to 370. Backup batteries will be installed in each building to provide at least one hour of power to phones in case of a power outage.
In Fall 2017, the Dart Foundation and Mason Public Schools Foundation awarded Mason Public Schools $840,000 in grant dollars to purchase more than 3,200 Chromebooks for classroom use. So far, the district has purchased and distributed 1,700 Chromebooks and will be purchasing the remaining Chromebooks over Summer 2018. That will bring the current count of Chromebooks available for student use to 2,580 total.

Additionally, the district has applied for reimbursement of technology infrastructure expenses through the federal E-rate reimbursement program. This program allows eligible schools to identify needs and submit requests for competitive bids to the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC). The specific reimbursement figures are not currently available, but could be 60% of the total infrastructure cost. Access to this program is not guaranteed each year due to potential federal budget constraints.

Superintendent Ronald Drzewicki said, “It is important for Mason Public Schools to continue to be good financial stewards of community resources. This opportunity for reimbursement from the federal government may not be available in the future, so it was important for us to meet all E-rate deadlines to be eligible for rebates.”

Specific details regarding the improvements to district technology infrastructure are available on the Mason Public Schools website.

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Mason Public Schools Forms Capital Improvement Committee

kids getting out of school for the day

Monthly Meetings Scheduled to Share Plans With the Community

MASON, MI – Mason Public Schools has formed a Capital Improvement Committee (CIC) to oversee the details of the capital improvement project underway after the passage of the $69.7 million bond proposal in November 2017. The first meeting was held February 19, 2018.

Board President, Kurt Creamer, appointed Christopher Mumby (Committee Chair), Liz Evans and Steve Duane to the CIC. The CIC will meet monthly with the superintendent, chief financial officer, facility director, architect, construction manager, technology director and owner’s representative to discuss the progress of the Mason Public Schools bond projects and to prepare information for the full Board of Education.

At the first meeting, the CIC received updates on the Harvey Education Center (HEC) schematic design, high school weight room renovation, technology infrastructure and equipment, the removal of the pole barn at the HEC and the disposal of excess district equipment. The high school weight room renovation will include new weight and exercise equipment, a fresh coat of paint, new flooring and a new drinking fountain. Surplus equipment is being gathered from across the district and Sheridan Realty and Auction Co. will host an online auction to sell old and excess equipment.

The CIC will meet on the fourth Thursday of each month, and the public is welcome to attend all meetings to stay informed on the progress of the bond proposal projects. “Community members are encouraged to attend the monthly CIC meetings. The information shared and discussed will be important as we move through the project,” stated MPS Superintendent, Ron Drzewicki.
As more details are finalized, information will be shared on the Mason Public Schools website. The next CIC meeting is on Thursday, March 22, at 6 pm.

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City of Mason and Mason Public Schools Recognize YesMason!

March 6, 2018 declared YesMason! Day

MASON, MI – The passing of the Mason Public Schools Bond proposal will build stronger, smarter, safer Mason Public Schools. The City of Mason and the Mason School Board both believe in strong schools and know that outstanding schools build outstanding communities. At a joint recognition ceremony on February 12, The City declared March 6, 2018 YesMason! Day.

Ensuring that the community fully understands the components of any bond proposal is a large undertaking. Reaching those who do not have students in schools can often be the most challenging part of any bond campaign. The YesMason! team spent countless volunteer hours developing materials, attending events to share information and promoting community forums to their neighbors. In addition, nearly every weekend, and some weekdays, groups went door-to-door explaining the needs of Mason Public Schools and how the bond proposal will bring needed improvements that support student learning.

Kurt Creamer, Mason Public Schools Board President shared, “Our volunteers really made the difference in the campaign to support a stronger, smarter, safer Mason Public Schools. We felt it was necessary to recognize the YesMason! team for the countless hours they put in to support our children and our community.”

The proclamation stated “This group of highly dedicated and skilled community members pulled together to form an advocacy committee to promote the passage of the Mason Public Schools’ $69.7 million bond proposal on November 7, 2017, organizing a variety of activities designed to inform voters about the bond election and advocating for bond passage, including door-to-door campaigning, event planning, yard signs, and direct mail to promote a positive message about the proposal.”

On November 7, 2017, Mason residents passed a $69.7 million bond proposal to build a stronger, smarter, safer Mason Public Schools. The proposal includes significant improvements to safety and security, technology, site circulation, HVAC and mechanical and facility upgrades at all of the district’s buildings as well as the purchase of new buses.

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