Pre-school bond issue work progressing, though quietly, slowly

Progress on putting together a faciliWHS poolty needs assessment for Wayland Union Schools is slow and quiet, but Finance Director Bill Melching told the Board of Education Monday night there may be a meeting on the topic Monday, Nov. 30.

The needs assessment, being conducted by Tower Pinkster Architects of Grand Rapids, is supposed to identify the school district’s greatest physical needs, with the final result perhaps being a bond issue by May 2016.

The school board in August took a big step toward having a bond election for the high school pool and other facilities by hiring Tower Pinkster at a cost of $15,000, with an added $5,000 price tag for pre-bond work.

Board Trustee Gary Wood said, “The silence has been deafening, at least from a board standpoint,” noting that he hadn’t heard nor seen anything about the process.

Tower Pinkster representatives have appeared on campus and in buildings and continue to do preliminary work, Melching said.

The aging high school pool, installed more than 40 years ago when the high school was built, is expected to be the feature item in a bond vote next year.

Melching noted that the district spent $33,500 for repairs two years ago, $7,000 last year and about $44,000 this year.

The lighting is being corrected with LED replacements, rotting wood benches are being replaced with aluminum ones and the mechanical system has needed work to remove too much humidity from the air.

The high school swim team is not allowed by state law to use the starting blocks to begin competitive events, so there are few home dual meets or invitationals.

Despite all of its problems, Melching told school board members, “The pool actually has exceeded its maximum life span.”

But he also said the pool is getting too costly and repairs lately have taken “spending money we don’t have.”

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