Wayland bond project gets the green light to proceed

The Wayland Board of Education Monday night decided to proceed as planned with the already started bond project work that was approved by voters last May.

Board members were visited by representatives from Triangle Construction and Tower Pinskter Architects to review some of the work that has already begun for the $49.7 million project and to listen to an explanation about what went wrong with Tower Pinkster’s handling of the new Otsego pool.

Mike Galavan, project manager, told the board all about what he called “bumps in the road.” He said he took full responsibility for Otsego severing ties ties with the architectural firm and insisted he is determined to make certain misunderstandings do not happen again.

Tower Pinkster is one of the largest architectural firms in Michigan that does business with school districts and their bond projects.

School board members essentially said they were satisfied with Galavan’s explanation and agreed to proceed as planned.

Supt. Tim Reeves said he was pleased that Galavan was “transparent and direct” in his presentation. Galavan said work is just being started on designing the pool and he estimated it would take between 23 and 24 months for the work after the design has been completed.

Meanwhile, Scott Jernberg from Triangle Construction told the board work on the roof at the high school has begun already, with about 60 percent of it done. He added that next on the list will be the roof over the newly created music and auto shop classrooms, but before that curb and gutter tasks in the high school parking lot will be performed.

One of the most anticipated projects ahead will be the drainage work and water mitigation at the soccer field, which has been getting a lot of complaints about flooding. Jernberg said the goal is to have the soccer field ready by next fall.

But the biggest and most expensive part of the bond project easily will be the expansion of the high school to accommodate installation of a new swimming pool to replace the aging and functionally challenged site.

Board President Dan Cassini said, “This is not a six-month deal to just dig a hole throw some water in and say we’re done.”

Estimates have the completion date set for early 2027.

Galavan told the board, “We custom design all our projects and that takes time.”

Cassini said, “It’s exciting to see this start to come together.”


  • Reeves and WUS board listened to an explanation about what went wrong with Tower Pinkster’s handling of the new Otsego pool.

    Mike Galavan, project manager, told the board all about what he called “bumps in the road.”

    “Misunderstandings do not happen again.”

    Otsego severing ties with the architectural firm.

    Wow are you kidding me, bumps in the road and misunderstandings…….I am assuming that to “sever” ties with your architect it had to be more than simple misunderstandings. So Galavan comes in gives his best sales job, Reeves and the WUS board takes the bait hook line and sinker and says you bet let’s move forward. Simply unbelievable………

    Let’s hope for the best!!


  • Contrary to what some may believe, major architectural firms like Tower Pinkster and a handful of others are always making sales calls to public and parochial school systems, colleges and universities across MI. They do so knowing if there’s a project with issues, as in the case of the Otsego pool project, there’s a chance their firm gets the next contract while their competitor loses a long term customer.

    Being the named architects means being in the position of the buck stops here. They pass on a lot of coordination to the construction managers who bid on the project who then divide up the project to sub contractors. Then there is a supply chain.

    For a school,system, changing architects after a project was landed, specifications written and bonds sold to finance is unheard of and in the case of Tower Pinkster, they know they have a target on their back. Diekema|Hammann, Kingscott Associates, Progressive AE, GMB and others are waiting for school systems to switch firms. That happens every decade or two, sometimes longer.

    Wayland Union Schools would have had to set the new pool back from 6 months to a year if they decided to switch at this time. Part of their decision was based on what Tower Pinskster said at the meeting. Part was based on what we know now regarding labor costs and material costs compared to guess what those may be in 2024.

    • We can only hope that Tower Pinkster doesn’t botch WUS project with misunderstandings and bumps in the road……….I wonder if Otsego wished they would have waited another six months……….

      My opinion!


  • More than wait 6 months.

    This isn’t a Mickey Rooney movie land of “We can build a stage in my grandpa’s barn and put on a show”. No other full service architectual firm is going to take another’s surveys, drawings and specifications and present as a ready to build.

    The firm puts their name, their reputation and most importantly accepts liability which of course everyone understands is important with a building that will be used for at least two decades by 100’s to 1000 plus people over 9 months of every year.

    Wayland Union Schools board members and its superintendent should have conversations with Otsego Schools to discuss what issues arose. How many issues were because of things Tower Pinkster did or didn’t do and how many were related to the construction company, their sub-contractors and suppliers whose products were specified by the architect.

    If a school system is doing it’s due diligence they should always be evaluating the architectural firm they are aligned with as well as the construction managers that bid on projects. But not when a current project is already in progress.

Leave a Comment