LCS’s Tuesday bond proposal includes plans for the Innovation Center | So Good News
LAPEER — When Lapeer-area voters head to the polls Tuesday, they’ll be asked to consider a bond for Lapeer Community Schools (LCS) that affects virtually every district building.
This includes plans for a Center for Innovation (CFI).
CFI on Millville Road, also known in the community as the “old Lapeer West building,” is home to many LCS programs and events. If voters approve the Nov. 8 bond, more than $2.3 million (about 5%) of the $44 million raised is slated to go toward CFI projects. One of those projects will include safety/security upgrades similar to other district buildings, but others will be unique to CFI.
The building, now known as CFI, was built in 1960 and is the oldest active facility in the district. If the agreement goes through, the building will have a new front facade, new lighting, an extension and resurfacing of the north car park and resurfacing of the site. But the biggest investment is the demolition (and associated hazardous material abatement) of the northern part of the building.
About 40% of the building will be razed, while the rest of the structure will remain intact with the facility’s gymnasium, secondary gym, classrooms on the south side and shop rooms used by the district’s robotics teams. The space created by the demolition will be used to expand the north parking lot.
CFI is the Emotionally Disturbed 9-12 program at Lapeer Community High School and LCS District. On the athletics side, students participating in robotics, football, cheerleading, basketball, wrestling, baseball and softball currently use the facility. “Many of our youth soccer, baseball, softball and basketball organizations use the facility on the weekends, and (music educator nonprofit group) 3rd Degree Burns is an outside organization that regularly uses CFI during the week,” said Shad Spilski, director. CFI. “We’re also opening the building to an organization that allows seniors to walk the hallways twice a week.”
According to Spilski, the building houses an average of 150-300 students depending on the season. The vast majority of these students do not use the part of the building that is slated for demolition. “The north side of the building is used by 3rd degree burns, and the old science wing is where our wrestling program works. It will be removed,” he said. “The plan is to redevelop the 3rd degree burn area in the building, and build an athletic support facility at Lapeer High School for the wrestling program and other athletic programs.” If the bond passes and that part of the building is torn down, he said, “We guarantee to save anything of value in that part of the building.”
Reducing CFI’s footprint means savings in the building’s current operation, but Spilski said there are other benefits. “With the district’s focus on safety and security, reducing CFI’s footprint will allow the district to focus its resources on a more compact facility,” he said. “The facility and its systems are very old, so having a smaller footprint allows us to make the usable spaces more efficient in terms of utilities and maintenance.”