Homes to be built… Churchill to be renovated

Homes to be built on sold Royal Oak Schools property, Churchill to be renovatedgallowaycollens1

(Royal Oak Schools Press Release, March 15, 2014)

The Royal Oak Schools Board of Education, meeting on Thursday, March 13, 2014, approved contracts for renovations at Churchill School.   The Churchill building houses several district programs, including the Churchill Community High School, Adult Education Programs, and GED preparation classes & testing.    On a weekly basis, three to four hundred students receive educational services at the Churchill facility.

Shawn Lewis-Lakin, Superintendent of Schools, stated that “over the past two summers, with renovations at Oakland Elementary and Oak Ridge Elementary, the capital improvements to district facilities that began in 2005 have continued.     With the Churchill work to be done this summer, all buildings where we provide services to students will have been updated.”   In addition to these building improvements, over JudyPalmer01the past year, the district has completed the construction of a district-wide fiber network connecting all buildings, and upgraded the technology infrastructure within buildings to provide robust wireless connectivity in all schools.

As a part of the Churchill renovation project, the north side of the building will be reconfigured to house the Board of Education and Administrative Offices, which are currently located in the former Emerson Elementary School on Lexington Blvd.     According to Rick West, the district’s Executive Director, Finance and Operations, “our current Board and Administrative Office facility is in need of renovations – – mechanical upgrades, roofing, paving – that have an estimated cost of $2.5 million.  By moving into the Churchill building, we avoid these costs.  And, because we will be heating, cooling, and maintaining one Street-Eatzz-Adless facility, our operating costs will be reduced by approximately $50,000 annually.”

According to district estimates, 75% of the total $4.2 million Churchill project costs are associated with building improvement needs, apart from the Board Office relocation.   The project costs associated with the Board Office relocation will be offset by net proceeds (after demolition costs) from the sale of the current board office site.    A purchase agreement between the district and Robertson Brothers for the sale of the property has been approved.   Robertson Brothers plans to construct 36 single family homes on the site.

The support of the community through the approval of the sinking fund millage in November 2012, along with proceeds from recent property sales, are providing the funding for the work at Churchill, as well as parking lot improvements at Royal Oak High School and Royal Oak Middle School that will also be completed during this coming summer.

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