Upcoming Willow Hill Bond Projects
TCAPS Capital Plan
As part of TCAPS' capital plan, there are several projects that will be taking place at Willow Hill Elementary School over the next few years.
Willow Hill Projects
Below is a summary of Willow Hill projects. Renovations will take place in two phases, with the first to begin this spring/summer. The year notated indicates the year each project is anticipated to begin. Additional information will be provided as it becomes available.
Safety & Security
- Main Office Upgrades (2019)
The school's front entrance and main office will be expanded on the front side of the building. This will include added windows, raised ceilings, dedicated administration spaces, and an expanded vestibule that will require all visitors to enter the building through the office. (See drawing at the top of the page.)
- Boiler Replacement (2019)
- Interior Upgrades (Phase I - 2019) - Interior upgrades will include part of the cafeteria and lower elementary hall by the office (bathrooms, walls, ceilings, lockers, doors, and part of Ms. Peck's room). A new learning space is proposed where the current Door B exit is located.
- Interior Upgrades (Phase II - 2020) - Interior upgrades will include the upper elementary hall starting at the staff lounge (bathrooms, walls, ceilings, lockers, doors, and flooring).
Given the constraints of completing construction projects in short time frames during the summer months, we anticipate the initial work will begin at the end of April so the work can be completed by the start of next school year.
We are anticipating some inconveniences relative to pick-up and drop-off as well as the operations within the main office during this time. Plans are in development regarding shifts we will need to make as the work begins, and we will be sharing that information with you in a timely manner. Our focus is on the safety of our students, so we appreciate all your support and understanding as we work through this plan. The district will provide safety oversight to ensure there is proper separation of construction and school activities.
This is an exciting time for Willow Hill students, parents, and staff, and we are looking forward to these building improvements!
For additional information, please contact Willow Hill Principal Angela Sides-McKay at 231.933.8542 or Associate Superintendent of Finance and Operations Christine Thomas-Hill at 231.933.1730.
May 1, 2019 Updates
Construction Information and Timeline
As we have previously communicated, construction will begin at Willow Hill Elementary School before the end of the school year. Construction preparation and staging will begin on May 6, 2019, so that the planned 2019 upgrades can be completed before the start of the 2019/20 school year.
The work will be led by a project manager who has been hired to oversee and ensure the safety of students, teachers, parents and community members at the site during the construction. The work will adhere to all codes and regulations and any required environmental work will be completed by licensed professionals.
Important Pick-up, Drop-off, and Bus Information
- If your student walks to school, or if you park on Hill Street and walk your child to the door, you will follow the green arrow and enter the building through the door marked “W”.
- If you use the car line for drop-off and pick-up, you will drive in the car line as normal, but please do not load or unload your student outside of the designated purple area. Students will then enter and exit the building through door marked “C”.
- Students that ride the bus will load and unload in the designated zone in the bus loop and will enter and exit the building through the door marked “T”.
Main Office Relocation
During construction, the school’s main office will be relocated to office 204, which is in the main hallway. It will remain there through the end of the school year. The office will be accessible through the door marked “C”. During the summer months, the main office will be temporarily moved to the TCAPS Boardman Administration Building (412 Webster St.).
The area on the drawing in red is the construction area. It will be segregated from the rest of the building. This will be done to ensure the appropriate separation of construction and school activities. Please be assured that the contractor understands that our priority is the safety and instruction of students and therefore will work diligently to minimize any disruption to the normal school day.
The construction zone will be fenced off and the area will be off limits to anyone who is not a contractor at the site. Contractors are required to be background checked prior to being allowed to work at district buildings.
Frequently Asked Questions
Who is the contractor on the project?
Greene Construction, L.L.C.
How does the project manager work with the contractors to ensure compliance with the law and the safety measures expected by the school?
Construction law and safety standards are spelled out and documented in contract documents and by the State of Michigan in several locations readily available to contractors, project managers, architects, etc. By being onsite everyday, the project manager will monitor activities to ensure these standards are being followed and will be able to address concerns immediately.
Does the district do any background checks on contractors?
Yes. All contractors, vendors, and project managers complete the requirements of a full background check prior to working at the site.
What environmental monitoring will be done at the site?
Monitoring will be conducted during abatement operations. Special inspections and testing will also occur during the construction process.
How will the contractors control dust from the construction?
Dust barriers will be constructed at the interior of the building, exterior measures (watering) will be used as necessary. After the barriers are constructed by the contractor, the project manager will inspect and approve the barrier prior to demolition.
How will families be notified if there is an issue at the site?
The project manager will work with the principal to notify families via email of any changes in status of the project or issues that arise as the project is completed.
What happened during construction 10 years ago?
Demolition took place on an outside wall, which was sealed to the ceiling, however, the space above the ceiling was not sealed. As a result, cement dust was able to infiltrate the building. It was not asbestos-containing material. In order to avoid this situation during the upcoming construction, when areas are sealed off, TCAPS will have the project manager and the environmental specialist check the site to ensure everything is properly sealed before the construction begins.
Construction starts on Monday, what does that mean?
On Monday, May 6, 2019, the contractor will start excavation on the exterior grounds (footings and foundations). Interior building demolition will begin on Wednesday, May 8th.
When is the asbestos removal planned? Will parents be notified before?
Asbestos removal will take place on a Saturday (tentatively May 11). Otwell Mawby will be onsite to monitor the entire abatement process and will also conduct an air quality test prior to school resuming on Monday. Parents will be notified via email when the project receives clearance.
What is the process when contractors find asbestos during demo?
In the very unlikely event that an undocumented hazardous material is found, the contractor will immediately stop the work in that area and notify TCAPS. At which the point, the situation is evaluated by the environmental specialist to determine what further action is necessary. All interior parts of the building that are being demolished had previously been renovated (1992, 2008, 2012) and asbestos was abated at those times.
May 7, 2019
Below is a summary of updates regarding the construction progress at Willow Hill.
The separation wall being constructed tonight is necessary to continue demolition/construction operations beyond what has already been performed. The ceiling tile was removed to facilitate the installation of the separation wall. The project manager will inspect and approve the construction of the wall based on a plan created with input from the district's environmental specialist, who has been on site. The work currently taking place has been approved by the state building inspector and the appropriate precautions are in place.
State requirements for classroom temperature will not allow the boiler to be turned off until outside temperatures become more consistent. Willow Hill does not have a forced air distribution system, it has individual unit vents that operate individually and bring in outside air directly into each unit and classroom. When demo is taking place near a unit vent, that particular unit vent will be shut down and the intake grill will be blocked off.
The exterior soffit asbestos removal project will be done as originally scheduled on Saturday, May 11th. The third party contractor, Otwell Mawby, will be onsite to represent TCAPS and will monitor the entire abatement process -including air sampling throughout the project, and will give clearance based on air quality testing prior to school resuming on Monday. Parents will be notified via email when the project receives clearance, likely Saturday night or sometime Sunday. The project on Saturday will only involve what is needed for the demolition in the office area. Remaining soffit material will be removed later in the summer when students and staff are no longer present.
We would also like to make you aware that the construction crew found a duck nest near the construction area and this matter was handled appropriately by the contractor. The contractor notified TCAPS, then the DNR was called and we followed their instructions for relocating the nest. While the relocation attempt was successful, it is with regret that we share the apparent loss of the eggs likely from predator activity overnight.
Clarification of Door W: If your student walks to or from school, or if you park on Hill Street and walk your child to the door, you will follow the green arrow and meet your child at the door marked “W”. This door will be unlocked for morning entry on ‘red flag’ or inclement weather days.
May 11, 2019
The exterior soffit asbestos removal project was successfully completed. The third party contractor, Otwell Mawby, was onsite and monitored the abatement process - including air sampling throughout the project. The district has been given clearance, based on air quality testing, to continue daily school operations as scheduled.
May 20, 2019
We have been excited about the construction project that began earlier this month to complete upgrades to improve our school’s safety and security. While we have communicated about the project and have posted updates to the Willow Hill home page, anxiety still exists over aspects of the project. Therefore, the decision has been made to stop all architectural demolition at this time while school is in session.
The contractor has been notified that this work can only take place after school hours or on weekends. Please note, this change will delay the anticipated completion date of the project. We know that the short time frame in the summer, when school is not in session, is not long enough to complete the project. That means that other than moving the entire school to a temporary location, we will have to manage within our constraints.
District officials and the school's principal will monitor progress over the summer months and will communicate directions about site operations before the start of the 2019/20 school year.
For additional information, please contact:
- Willow Hill Principal Angela Sides-McKay at 231.933.8542
- Associate Superintendent of Finance and Operations Christine Thomas-Hill at 231.933.1730
- Paul Thwing, Director of Capital Projects and Planning at 231.933.1935
- Rod Lowes, Environmental Specialist at 231.342.1720
- Bob Lopez, Project Manager at 269.366.7060