PETOSKEY — Ahead of the start of the school year, Petoskey High School is undergoing renovations and adding additions, including fixing up the school’s existing weight room and changing the front entrance.
The two projects are being done by the same construction company and cost around $4.3 million and are being funded by the district’s sinking fund millage.
The projects are set to be completed by early December, the district’s director of finance Branden Wheeler said. While neither project will be done by the time students are filling classrooms, school officials were aware that the projects would not be done by the first day of school when they started them.
The decision to expand the weight room mostly comes from the desire to update it and make it more functional for more sports.
“The weight room’s pretty out of date,” Wheeler said. “Honestly, it comes down to expanding that weight room and making it more functional.”
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The addition will include new flooring and an area for turf flooring. Some of the existing equipment will be moved into the new area.
“The weight room project is good, so we can get more students in there to practice their skills,” Wheeler said. “It’ll clean up that facility and it’ll make it look really nice.”
When it comes to updating the front of the building, part of the reason was to make it more recognizable, Wheeler said.
“It’d be difficult to tell where the front entrance is if you don’t know,” Wheeler said. “There’s a lot of entrances and it’s not very profound. It’s hard as a visitor — in my opinion — to be able to tell where the front entrance is to the high school, so that was part of the reason for the change.”
The bigger reason, he said, was to work towards ADA compliance. He said that while there were alternate routes for people in wheelchairs to get into the school, the update will allow for them to get in with more ease and in shorter periods of time. A ramp will be added to the vestibule by the front of the school.
The school district has smaller updates going on throughout the district, though none are as big as the projects being worked on in the high school.
There is roofing work being done throughout some of the schools, a new boiler being put into the middle school, new lockers going into Lincoln and Central elementary schools, and more.
Contact education reporter Karly Graham at email@example.com or on Twitter at @KarlyGrahamJRN.