The Grand Haven Area Public Schools Board of Education on Monday unanimously approved construction drawings to convert the former swimming pool area into a gymnasium next spring, as well as five classrooms and a larger storage area at the middle school, 1400 S. Griffin St.
Both the projects will be bid out, with the bids due back to the school board by January, according to GHAPS Director of Operations Ted Rescorla.
Pending the bids, the gym conversion is expected to cost $696,000, while the classrooms and the storage area are expected to cost about $242,000, GHAPS Director of Business Services Donna Bylenga said.
Rescorla affirmed that the White Pines renovations are not part of the district’s realignment plans.
“We have been looking at this for a while,” he said, “and we feel this is the right time while the athletic programs are growing and the space is needed.”
Rescorla said outside athletic programs, such as North Ottawa Recreation Authority, are “crying” for practice space for a variety of activities. Because of the limited practice space, some of those activities have kids practicing until 10 or 10:30 at night, he said.
The school’s pool area — which cost the district about $90,000 per year to run — closed several years ago to save the district money, Rescorla said. Once the Aquatic Center at Grand Haven High School opened in 2000, there was no longer a need for the White Pines pool. It has since been used as a storage area.
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