CADILLAC — The summer work scheduled at both Franklin and Lincoln elementary schools is 98% complete with the overall construction projects at both buildings approximately 35% complete, according to Cadillac Area Public Schools Superintendent Jennifer Brown. 

That was the latest information given by Brown Tuesday about the two construction projects, which started in earnest after the completion of the last school year.  

"We continue to make progress every day. We have a state inspection on Aug. 22 to make sure we can reopen (Franklin and Lincoln) on time," she said. "We anticipate passing that inspection and opening on time with the understanding we will have construction throughout the school year, which was planned." 

She said the upcoming inspection will ensure that the two buildings' life safety equipment such as fire safety and security are up to code. Once the inspections are completed and the buildings can reopen for school, Brown said some final finish work and clean up such as the installation of drop ceiling will be done to make the buildings ready for learning. 

Currently, Brown said the focus of current work is on the connectors of the new editions and the original buildings. That includes ensuring there are the proper egress and emergency exits for students. 

At Franklin Elementary, Brown said the new entrance also is being completed which will not be 100 percent complete by the start of the new school year on Sept. 3 but will be operational. The only work left to be done will be cosmetic. 

The construction project at Franklin includes a one-story addition including 12 classrooms, student bathrooms, staff bathrooms, staff workspace and a new cafeteria and new infrastructure throughout the new addition and existing space. Lincoln Elementary renovations include the construction of two building additions, new bus loop driveway and an expanded drop-off area. There will be new infrastructure throughout the new addition and existing space.

New secure entrances are planned for all buildings, in addition to new technology and reworked parking lots for separate car and bus traffic. Other renovations include new boilers, heating, cooling and electrical systems, new classroom furnishings and classroom and playground equipment.

The plan is to have both Franklin and Lincoln upgrades completed by the start of the school year in September 2020.

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, with the demolition of 14 classrooms and remodeling of classrooms, the media center and auditorium. The central office also will be relocated to the high 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 with the goal of that being implemented for the start of the 2020-2021 school year. Forest View also will receive renovations.

In addition to the work at the elementary and preschool buildings, Brown said work also is scheduled to begin during spring 2020 at Mackinaw Trail Middle School. Work to be accomplished there will include adding classrooms and putting up walls, adding a gym but not in a traditional sense, partial roof replacement as well as various mechanical upgrades.

The final phase will begin in spring 2021 when upgrades begin at the high school/central office building.

To keep up to date with the progress of current and futures phases of the construction project log on to www.cadillacschools.org.

Cadillac News