CADILLAC – At the end of February, the future of the vacant Cooley School could be revealed.
On Monday, the Cadillac Area Public Schools School Board discussed and approved the RFP and developer qualifications for the Cooley School and its annex. The district worked with the civil engineering firm of Traverse City Fishbeck and the City of Cadillac to revise the request for proposals and qualifications for the property. The reviews include possible incentives, an environmental assessment, and criteria for selecting proposals.
CAPS Superintendent Jennifer Brown said that with board approval, the proposals would be accepted until Feb. 25.
“There is community interest in the property and some of the steps taken over the past year will pave the way for incentives, both local and state,” she said.
She said the steps taken over the past year to develop the new RFP and developer qualifications should make it easier for a developer to move forward, while also giving the board an edge. administration and district.
The Cooley School was built in 1923 while its annex was built in 1967. The 3-acre Cooley Campus on Granite Street near Marble Street was used for alternative education, adult education and programs. community until he was transferred to the Baker College campus in Cadillac in 2017..
In August 2020, the district accepted requests for proposals for Cooley that aligned with the community forums that were held previously.
These were supposed to be in June 2020, but the district was still accepting qualified proposals at the central office in August 2020.
After the February 25 deadline expired, Brown said there will be a community input meeting regarding the proposals that have been received to find out what the community wants.
While the end of February sheds light on what the future of Cooley School could be like, early February will mark the start of the final stage of bond-related construction.
Also at the recent CAPS board meeting, Brown said the board voted to award 24 of 26 bids for the final part of the bond build. She said the two remaining bids for the cabinet and joinery and alternates are expected to be decided at the February board meeting.
Brown said it was important to get the majority of bids awarded so contractors could start securing materials and locking in prices. With the asbestos reduction starting last month, she said it is expected that contractors will rally soon and the demolition will begin on February 1.
As for the completion date, Brown said once construction on the high school begins next month, it is expected to be completed by fall 2024.
“We will be working in areas where there are no students and summer construction will be important,” she said.
The district received offers on December 22 for renovations, additions and site improvements to Cadillac Junior High School and Cadillac High School. The district, its architect and construction management spent the last week interviewing bidders to qualify the bids and clarify the scope of the work.
In November, the CAPS school board approved the hiring of Bolle Contractor of Clare to perform the asbestos removal before construction began on the high school facility.
Bond Financing for Construction was passed in 2018 by voters in the district and was designed to impact all buildings in the district with $ 65.5 million in renovations, additions and improvements.
The majority of funds generated by the bond, $ 32.5 million, support the renovation of the junior / senior high school. The central office will also be relocated to the lycée. These projects are the last to start, and asbestos removal is the first step in this final phase of construction.