CAPS in process of transition, district realignment due to construction

On Jan. 28 the kindergarten through second-grade students and staff at the school moved into the new addition while their classrooms begin getting updated. While construction is not yet completed on the elementary school buildings within Cadillac Area Public Schools, families soon are going to start getting informed about various changes that are coming.

CADILLAC — While construction is not yet completed on the elementary school buildings within Cadillac Area Public Schools, families soon are going to start getting informed about various changes that are coming.

CAPS Superintendent Jennifer Brown said the district is working with its transportation provider, Dean Transportation, to redraw neighborhood boundaries. With Kenwood Elementary closing and reopening as an early childhood center, Brown said those students who would attend the school will need to be moved to a new location — Franklin or Lincoln.

She said it is anticipated the reworked boundaries for all three remaining elementary schools should be done in April and then families impacted by boundary changes will be notified by the district in May. The plan is to allow for current students to remain in their current buildings even if they fall outside the school’s new boundary, Brown said.

Both Franklin and Lincoln elementary schools will be the same size once the boundaries are complete. Forest View Elementary will be smaller than those two schools by about half. All three elementary buildings, however, will offer the same programming, supports, and enrichment for all students.

“Starting in May there will be a lot of communication with parents,‘ Brown said. “We still are on schedule and budget and we are excited about providing new 21st Century learning environments for our students.‘

Construction started last spring at Franklin and Lincoln elementary schools. Both projects are to be completed by the start of the 2020-21 school year.

On Jan. 28, K-2 students and staff moved into the new addition at Franklin Elementary. The existing wings of Franklin are undergoing renovations so they will be very similar to the new build. This includes new windows, heating and cooling, flooring and carpeting. The existing wing that remains occupied through the school year, as well as the old kitchen and old main office, will be renovated during the summer.

At Lincoln Elementary, the project has moved at a slower pace than at Franklin due to the complexity of connecting the existing corridor to the new building. The connection and the new addition are scheduled to be completed by the summer, which means it should look like Franklin does by the end of the year.

The construction’s second phase, which technically has started, will include upgrades to Kenwood Elementary, Forest View Elementary, and Mackinaw Trail Middle School.

Kenwood Elementary will be converted into an elementary center. With the renovations being made to Mackinaw Trail Middle School, the building will be converted to serve sixth- through eighth-graders. The three remaining elementary buildings also will house kindergarten through fifth grade starting in the 2020-2021 school year. Forest View also will receive renovations.

The roughly $65.5 million bond proposal funding construction was passed by less than a 1,000-vote margin in May 2018. Since that time, the projects including those at Franklin and Lincoln had been in the planning and development stages.

The majority of the bond’s generated funds, $32.5 million, will support a full renovation of the junior/senior high school. The central office also will be relocated to the high school.

Cadillac News