Construction firm begins $14M project for school district


A rendering of the new entrance planned for Falan Field at Paw Paw High School. Courtesy Owen-Ames-Kimball Co.

A construction firm is about to get to work on a $14-million project to renovate and technologically upgrade a school district in the region.

Paw Paw bond

Grand Rapids-based Owen-Ames-Kimball Co., or OAK, said last week that it will start work this month on a district-wide project for Paw Paw Public Schools, which saw a school bond passed by voters last summer.

The project will involve work at Paw Paw High School, Paw Paw Middle School, Paw Paw Early Elementary, Paw Paw Later Elementary, Cedar Street School and Falan Field, said Tom Stanek, project executive and director of Kalamazoo operations, OAK.

Kalamazoo-based Kingscott Associates is serving as the project’s architect.

The work will be done in three phases from 2015-2017, Stanek said.

Many of the finer details of the phased work have not been nailed down yet, Stanek said, adding that although some minor details may change, OAK will not break the limitations of the bond.

The work will vary by school, but each school will receive a security entry vestibule, Stanek said.

Stanek added that the safety of the students and the equipment upgrades to the district are important to him on a personal level.

“I live in Paw Paw, so I have kids that go to Paw Paw, and I have a special interest in the project,” he said.

“I know the district is pretty excited about it. There’s a lot of needs that are going to be met for the district.”

Three-phase project

Phase one renovation work will begin on April 6 and should be completed in September.

Phase one of the project will include renovating the team building and creating a new entrance at Falan Field, the high school’s sports track. Phase 1 will also include interior renovation, mechanical renovation and technological renovation at Paw Paw Middle School and Cedar Street School, with the latter receiving parking modifications.

Phase two, which will begin and end in 2016, will focus on interior renovations, carpet and countertop replacements and electrical upgrades at Paw Paw Early Elementary and Paw Paw Later Elementary. Some site work will also be done at the parent drop-off loop and in the parking lot.

Phase three, which will begin and end in 2017, will focus on a roof replacement and mechanical and electrical upgrades for Paw Paw High School, as well as “a little of reconfiguration of the parking,” Stanek said.

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