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Bond issue projects open to rave reviews
Bond issue projects open to rave reviews
Posted on 10/05/2021
Students in Jeannette Media Center

The reviews are in and they are overwhelmingly positive.

Students at Jeannette Junior High School are excited about the impact on their school’s learning environment with a modern media center, a centerpiece of approximately $16 million in bond-funded improvements across Utica Community Schools this summer.

“I was amazed with the change,” said seventh grade Jules Sitto. “I think this is just such a wonderful environment to be in now.”

Jeannette’s media center is among a number of projects at the school funded by a $155 million bond issue approved in 2018. Projects also include mechanical updates, a secure entryway and landscaping – similar to sites across the district.

But it is the media center that is getting the most attention from students with its modern appearance, areas for group collaboration, private areas for silent reading or studies and natural lighting.

“The room kind of gives me a good feeling and energy,” said ninth grader Karlo Shamoon. “It is a perfect environment where you could multiple things. I could just sit here and read.”

The improvements at Jeannette come during the third summer of facility improvements funded by the 2018 bond issue.

“The investment our community is making in its schools has a direct impact on our learning environment,” Superintendent Robert Monroe said. “This investment is making a difference by funding improvements through the bond issue’s focus areas: enhancing safety, improving technology and addressing the long-range facility needs of Michigan’s second largest school district.”

Other districtwide project this summer include:       

  • New secure entryways at six district schools that requires all visitors to directly enter the through the school office area. Currently, all UCS school entrances are locked with a camera-entry system. Visitors must identify themselves to school office personnel prior to entry.
  • Infrastructure improvements as identified in the district’s long-range improvement program, including parking lots, roofs, and heating and cooling system upgrades at sites across the district.
  • Replacement of 11 school buses.
For Jeannette students, all of the building changes have helped to bring more positive energy to their day.

“It gives you a nice feel to see a clean environment and it helps you with your day,” said eighth grader Raine Thomas.

Principal Antoinette Hamilton said the improvements have also helped the school transition back to full, in-person learning this year.

“Since the learning environment is so important to the success of our students and our staff, it felt great to be able to welcome them back with an encouraging in-person atmosphere that is conducive to academic success,” Hamilton said.

For the community that has made the projects possible, Jeannette students have some words of appreciation.

“I’m not sure (community members) really understand the difference that the improvements make unless they see it first-hand, but I’d like to say to them thank you for your time and effort in helping to build this new environment,” Thomas said.