Mason Public Schools Bond Sale Comes in Under Estimate

At the April Mason Public Schools Board of Education meeting, the Board ratified the sale of the District’s Series II bonds. On March 17, the District successfully completed the Bond sale of the $19.2 million budgeted for the next phase of the District’s Capital Improvement Project. The District received strong competition for the Bonds, receiving six bids. The lowest bidder was KeyBanc Capital Markets, which provided a True Interest Cost (TIC) bid of 1.98% down from 3.37% for the Series I sale in 2018.

Due to Mason Public Schools’ high bond rating and a strong competitive bid process, the actual total debt service (principal and interest) for the bond issue was significantly under the estimated total debt service by $10 million. This is a significant cost reduction secured for the community’s taxpayers.

As part of the process, Standard & Poors (S&P) Global Ratings reviewed its Bond rating for the District and S&P has maintained the District’s Bond rating of an A+. S&P takes many factors into consideration to rate a school district for Bond sales. For Mason, access to the greater Lansing-East Lansing economy, strong wealth indicators, stable enrollment and a healthy fund balance supported an A+ rating from S&P.

“It is important for Mason Public Schools to continue to demonstrate strong fiscal management and maintain community trust. I am extremely proud of the District’s financial team for receiving such a strong S&P rating as well as doing as much as possible to save our taxpayers money,” said Ronald Drzewicki, Ed.S., Superintendent, Mason Public Schools.

Series II of the Capital Improvement Project will primarily consist of the renovation of Steele Elementary, bus replacement and technology upgrades. A groundbreaking for the construction project will take place later this Spring and it will be completed in August 2022.

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MPS Board Approves Construction Bids at Steele Elementary

Exterior Rendering of Steele

On February 8, the Mason Public Schools Board of Education approved bids for over 20 construction contractors to begin work on Steele Elementary, which is part of Phase 2 of the Capital Improvement Project.

The total bid award was $13.5M. The contractors selected include:

  • LD Clark for earthwork, site utilities and site demolition;
  • Eastlund for site concrete;
  • Quality Asphalt for Asphalt Paving;
  • D-K Fence for fencing;
  • Anderson-Fischer for landscaping;
  • Lucas Concrete for structural concrete;
  • Kerkstra for precast concrete;
  • Schiffer for masonry;
  • FCC Construction for structural steel;
  • Versatile Roofing for roofing;
  • Wolverine Enclosures for metal panels;
  • Lansing Glass for glass, glazing and aluminum;
  • Dobie Construction for general trades;
  • Reichenbach for walls and ceilings;
  • Ritsema Associates for hard tile;
  • Superior Floor Coverings for flooring;
  • H&H Painting for painting and wallcovering;
  • Play Environments for playground equipment;
  • Professional Thermal Systems for mechanical and plumbing systems;
  • United Electrical for electrical systems;
  • The bid categories of demolition and fire protection will be re-bid.

Throughout the bid process, contractor bids came in lower than what was originally budgeted for the project. This will allow the District to save over $300,000 in this initial phase. Superintendent Ronald Drzewicki said, “It is vital that Mason Public Schools continue to be good fiscal stewards of community resources by selecting qualified contractors. The planning team continues to look for cost saving measures and will work to stretch the bond dollars as far as possible. The District is eager to continue this much-needed work on our buildings and begin Phase 2 with the renovation and expansion of Steele Elementary.”

The total budget for Phase 2 is $19.2M. Other items in Phase 2 will include furniture, equipment, technology devices, infrastructure upgrades as well as additional school buses for the District.
Details regarding the status of projects funded by the 2017 bond can be found on the Mason Public Schools Capital Improvement Projects website.

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Steele Elementary Construction Timeline

Construction bids are due on December 23, 2020 with a public bid opening immediately following. The Board will take action to approve the recommended contractors at the February Board of Education meeting.

In April, $19.2M in bonds will be sold to fund the projects in Phase 2. The construction on Steele will break ground in April as well.

The building is scheduled to be completed in Fall 2022.

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Mason Public Schools Shares Design of Steele Elementary

Exterior Rendering of Steele

Members of the YesMason! Committee and Mason’s School Study Committee joined the Board of Education Capital Improvement Committee (CIC) last Thursday to view the new design of Steele Elementary.

Members of the Steele Elementary design committee alongside GMB, the District’s architecture partner, shared the designs with the larger group. The CIC reviewed the design plans and the next step is for the project to go out for competitive bid in December.

“The School Study Committee spent countless hours over several months helping us shape our long-term plans for facility needs. The YesMason! Committee advocated for the proposal by going door-to-door to promote the benefits of the bond proposal. We want to send a special thank you to these two groups for their commitment to Mason Public Schools and are grateful for such a supportive community,” said Ronald Drzewicki, Ed.S., Superintendent of Mason Public Schools.

The renovation of Steele Elementary will begin the second phase of a three phase Capital Improvement Project that was approved in November 2017. In April, $19.2M in bonds will be sold to fund the projects in Phase 2. The construction on Steele will break ground in April as well. The building is scheduled to be completed in Fall 2022.

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Mason Public Schools Celebrates Completion of Alaiedon & North Aurelius Elementary Buildings

North Aurelius Ribbon Cutting

Earlier this month, Mason Public Schools officially cut the ribbon on both Alaiedon and North Aurelius Elementary buildings after 15 months of construction. Both projects, which were funded through the District’s $69.7 million bond, broke ground in April 2019.

Improvements to both schools included a new multi-purpose room, additional classrooms, and a new secure entry. Mechanical and electrical upgrades, layout changes and remodeling were also included in the project. In addition, site improvements and expanded parking will make student pick-up and drop-off safer when in-person instruction resumes.

The completion of these two projects wrap up Phase 1 of a three-phase capital improvement project for the District. Phase 2 of the project will primarily focus on the renovation of Steele Elementary. A District committee has been meeting to plan for the renovation of Steele Elementary for several months.
“We are so grateful for the continued support of the community for the bond and most recently through distance learning. It was very important to us to include the community in the celebration of these two projects even though we could not do so in person,” said Ronald Drzewicki, Ed.S., Superintendent of Mason Public Schools. “Thank you to the community, the Board of Education and the construction teams as well as the staff in the buildings for working together on this project. We are eager to begin Phase 2 of the project and start planning for the renovations of Steele Elementary.”

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Board of Education Tour Construction Projects

Board of Education

Prior to the July 13, 2020 Board of Education Meeting, the Board toured the sites of both Alaiedon Elementary and North Aurelius Elementary. Members of the group included Ron Drzewicki, Chris Mumby, Liz Evans, Adrienne Barna, Shana Barnum and Michael Kelly.

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