WILLIAMSTON, Mich. — It's been a busy summer for Williamston Community Schools staff, Superintendent Adam Spina and Director of Facilities and Operations Brandon Weingartz.
“Sometimes people think when the kids leave and the teachers leave that’s it, right," Spina said. "The schools are done for two months, and it doesn’t work that way in fact it’s just as busy.”
“We started this like, Monday after school got out, and we’re estimated to have everything done done next Tuesday," Weingartz said. "So we have a couple days to get everything ready, but you look at it now and say how are we going to be there, but we’ll get there.”
For the past few years, they've been working on improving different schools in the district behind the scenes.
“Completing all the roofs, new roofs on all of our buildings will be accomplished at the end of the summer," Spina said. "Items like HVAC upgrades based on an audit of our HVAC capabilities throughout the district.”
But based on community feedback, they wanted to do more upgrades this summer.
“It’s a combination of priorities that we’re investing in based on feedback from the community and the just also different internal assessment that we’ve done of the facilities,” Spina said.
One of those areas of improvement was safety features.
“Part of it is making sure that our physical security is up to par, and so we've continued to collaborate with local law enforcement, emergency management, homeland security to give us assessments of our facilities, so again, we know where to focus on our financial resources,” Spina said,
One of the safety upgrades was adding a doorbell to the front door of the elementary schools and relocating the main office to the front entrance.
They also added more cameras and safety locks to every classroom in the district.
“We installed the nightlock secure door system," Weingartz said. "Essentially, you close the door, and then even though the doors locked, this pin will go through, so then, you’re not able to access inside the classroom library whatever it is. It just drops in the sleeve of the door and drops into that hole.”
There's also added air conditioning in the Explorer gymnasium and several new visual upgrades like new water fountains, new flooring, outdoor seating areas and graphics.
“Walking into our high school through the athletic wing, that’s all been repainted, there’s new graphics with hornets and things and photos our student athletes," Spina said. "Our community pools been repainted, we’ll have new graphics going in there.”
Spina said they chose to do more projects this summer because they received COVID-19 relief funds and used money from the sinking fund.
He said they're looking forward to welcoming students back on Aug. 22 for the first day of school.
“We’re very much looking forward to having you back, and it’s going to be another great school year in Williamston, and I hope you like all the upgrades, new features that have been added over the summer," Spina said. "Go Hornets.”
Construction is on track to be complete by next week. Just in time for the elementary schools' open houses on Wednesday and middle and high school open houses on Thursday.
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