Clarkston Community Schools sought to make facilities improvements and enhance safety and security across all their campuses, enabling students and teachers to focus on learning in environments that better support modern education. The community wholeheartedly supported this multi-phased investment that was intentional and targeted, with bond improvements that are shared amongst all students, no matter which building they attend.
A major point of emphasis during the bond campaign was improving school security. As a result, every school building in the district received upgrades to their entry to improve student and staff security and create visibility for welcoming visitors to campus. For most schools, this initiative included a substantial renovation to their existing office space, but some also received building additions to facilitate a more secure entry sequence. Additionally, there was district-wide implementation of security cameras for all school facilities.
Almost every building in the district received substantial reconfiguration of their drop-off loops and parking lots to improve traffic flow. This was also a big emphasis during the bond campaign to help improve safety at the buildings by separating bus and parent vehicle traffic and improving pedestrian facilities.
The existing media centers in every building were converted to the learning commons model. The spaces, while still holding books, now focus on facilitating collaboration and self-directed learning by providing the tools, spaces, and furniture necessary for that kind of work. Each elementary building also received a “project room” space in renovated computer labs adjacent to the learning commons to provide space and additional opportunities for project-based learning.
All elementary school buildings saw renovations to the classrooms and corridors, updating bathrooms, finishes and flooring, and installing new lockers and some casework replacements. The district’s buildings also all saw mechanical controls upgrades, and all of the general education classrooms received new furniture. These were perhaps the most impactful work, as they are felt by students in the places where they spend most of their time at school.
Independence Elementary School
Beyond the secure entry, traffic flow, and site circulation improvements, the Independence Elementary School building was also reskinned to add insulation and improve thermal comfort in the classrooms. Teachers anecdotally said that a drink kept in a cabinet on an outside wall would freeze during the winter. In addition to being uncomfortable for students and teachers in the building, the facility itself was also energy inefficient. To change that, we added a cavity wall with insulation around all the classroom wings and replaced the roofs, adding insulation there as well. This resulted in a much more comfortable and energy efficient building. A testament to the coordination and close partnership between GMB and our construction manager, AUCH, all the work for this building was completed during a single spring / summer and included a secure entry addition, site reconfiguration, building re-skin, interior renovations, bathroom additions, and mechanical improvements.
Clarkston High School
Clarkston High School is a hub of activity within the district, and the improvements made to this building as part of the bond investment impact many people throughout the Clarkston community. In addition to the building improvements made throughout the district, such as a secure entry renovation, mechanical and energy efficiency improvements, and traffic flow, we made significant upgrades to the site amenities and building additions as well. The football stadium received an entire turf and track replacement, enabling greater access and use by students throughout the year, as well as a brand-new multi-purpose turf field. Vehicular circulation was improved with a parking lot reconfiguration and renovation of the entire site, adding an access road and a parking lot along the back side of the school. Interior renovations and additions to the building include a new band room, renovated learning commons area for collaboration and self-directed learning, a new nutrition classroom, and upgrades to classroom finishes and furnishings to enable a more flexible teaching and learning environment.