Mason Public Schools Breaks Ground on Elementary Construction

On April 25, Mason Public Schools celebrated the next milestone of the Capital Improvement Project by breaking ground on both the North Aurelius Elementary and Alaiedon Elementary construction projects.

In two separate events, students from each building joined the Board of Education, building principals, construction team, superintendent and Buster the Bulldog for a short ceremony. The work being done on the North Aurelius Elementary and Alaiedon Elementary buildings is the second portion of Phase 1 of the Capital Improvement Project. The $69.7 million bond was approved by voters in November 2017.

Improvements to both schools include a new multi-purpose room, additional classrooms and a new secure entry. Planned layout changes, remodeling and mechanical and electrical upgrades are part of the projects. In addition, site improvements will expand parking and improve student pick-up and drop-off.

In his remarks, Kurt Creamer, Board of Education President said, “you should all feel lucky; lucky that you live in a community like Mason where people decided it was worth the effort, worth the time and worth the money to invest in your education.”

Superintendent Ronald Drzewicki said, “what a great day for Mason and Mason Public Schools. We are grateful for the community’s support and excited to provide improved learning environments for our students.”

Construction on these two buildings will continue until late summer 2020, in time for students to arrive back for the start of the 2020-21 school year.

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Board Approves Technology Bids for District

At the Mason Public Schools Board of Education meeting on March 11, the Board approved bids for cabling and multimedia systems upgrades throughout the district, which is part of Phase 1 of the Capital Improvement Project.

The total bid award was $337,700. The contractors selected were Datacom Group for low voltage cabling and Digital Age Technologies for multimedia systems.

Superintendent Ronald Drzewicki said, “Mason Public Schools has done significant work already to improve technology, including increasing the district’s wireless access points from 112 to 370 last year. Continuing to build out the quality of our technology will benefit all of Mason’s buildings including the ones under renovation through the Capital Improvement Project. The support of our community is appreciated.”

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Alaiedon & North Aurelius Construction Kick-Off Meeting

This afternoon, contractors from both the Alaiedon Elementary and North Aurelius Elementary projects were invited to join Mason Public Schools for a construction kick-off meeting. Construction is scheduled to begin after this school year ends.

The contractors selected for the Alaiedon Elementary project are LJ Trumble Builders for general trades, Proline Concrete for concrete, TCI for site work, Davenport Masonry for masonry, Howard Steel for structural and miscellaneous steel, Shively-Bouma for metal studs, drywall and ceilings, Roofing Innovations for roofing, Traverse City Glass for aluminum and glazing, Lansing Tile & Mosaic for flooring, Architectural Systems Group for casework, Professional Thermal Systems for mechanical, United Electrical Contractors for electrical and Promech Engineering for commissioning.

The contractors selected for the North Aurelius Elementary project are LJ Trumble Builders for general trades, Fessler & Bowman for concrete, Woodhull Construction for site work, Davenport Masonry for masonry, Custom Steel Fabricators for structural and miscellaneous steel, Walker Commercial Interiors for metal studs, drywall and ceilings, Superior Services RSH, Inc. for roofing, Traverse City Glass for aluminum and glazing, Lansing Tile & Mosaic for flooring, Myers Plumbing & Heating for mechanical, United Electrical Contractors for electrical and Control Solutions for commissioning.

 

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Elementary Furniture Committee Continues to Meet

Beginning this spring, a committee of K-5 teachers and administrators have been meeting with GMB Architecture representatives to begin the process of selecting furniture and flexible seating options for the Kindergarten classrooms at the elementary schools. After a couple options are tested out by students and teachers, the furniture that is selected will be purchased for portions of the completed buildings. Thank you to the committee members for your input and time commitment!

 

Photo credit: Harvey Education Center

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District completes back-end upgrades to wireless infrastructure

This summer, the district has completed the back-end upgrades to our wired and wireless infrastructure. This included replacing each switch, running new fiber for faster connections to each network closet, and a near three-fold expansion of our wireless access points. Wireless Internet access points were increased from 112 to 370. Staff and students will notice a far faster wired and wireless experience throughout the district.

Along with the performance improvements, system-wide management becomes far easier. Each network connection is now labeled and marked. Automated reports of potential service issues are sent to district IT staff in near real time.

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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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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’ 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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