CL school buildings, infrastructure crumbling, engineers say

By: 
Linda Gallagher

CENTRAL LAKE — During a special Central Lake Public Schools Board of Education meeting held Monday night, engineers from a downstate engineering/design firm told board members and interested area residents what Central Lake's staff already knew — both of the school district's buildings and much of the infrastructure is falling apart. 

The bad news came from a team of four engineers, including a graduate of Central Lake schools, who presented the findings of a district wide assessment made by Grand Rapids-based engineering company Tower Pinkster during several visits to the schools last fall.

"In our report, we prioritized the items needing attention as soon as possible," said Matt Brown, a 2001 graduate of Central Lake Public Schools. "There's a lot of prioritized items."

Among those priorities are a 40-year-old boiler in the high school, along with a high school gymnasium roof leaking so badly that it recently rained inside the gym after a heavy rainstorm last year. The roof was last replaced in 1988.

A total of 89 issues requiring attention as soon as possible are listed in the assessment, with 41 that need to be addressed in the next three to five years, the engineers said. 

Also of concern to the schools is the lack of a secure vestibule area to provide a measure of security and safety. 

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