Mattawan Schools prepare for next round of renovations

Paul Garrod -

    MATTAWAN - Following  almost 13 years as a member of the Mattawan Board of Education, Alan Koenig announced Monday night at the Mattawan Board of Education meeting that he will step down from his position, effective next month.
    Koenig, who was appointed to a board seat in  2006, and elected to a seat in 2007, had served six years as board president.
    Koenig, who made the announcement during the board’s organizational meeting held prior to the regular  board meeting, said, “It was a hard decision.”
    Board member Mark Noffsinger said,  “He’s been a great leader, a great president.”
    The board will be accepting letters of interest to fill Koenig’s unexpired term, which expires in December of 2020. The individual will then serve until the board’s next general election.
    In another area. the board  approved architect and construction management contracts, following  last August’s district voter  approval of a  $19,120,000 bond proposal.
    The proposal includes the following:
    •Enhancing district wide school safety;
    •Improving district technology and replacing outdated devices;
    •Renovation of a portion of the vacant Later Elementary building for an Early Childhood Education Center, administrative offices, and community spaces;
    •Demolition of Early Elementary and Center Building for green space, future growth, and/or parking needs;
    •Replacement of Middle School and High School roofs which are out of warranty;
    •Improvement of roads serving the Middle School and High School portion of campus;    
    •Addition of a building for team locker rooms and public restrooms near the softball, baseball, and football fields to eliminate the need for public porta-potties and teams utilizing portable classrooms as locker spaces for sporting events.
    The board also approved the district start-up of a Van Buren Middle College Program.
    “Students  will have the ability to get an associate’s degree,” said Superintendent Dr. Robin Buchler.
    Students will have the  opportunity to begin the program during the second semester of their sophomore year.
    “If you can walk away with an associate’s degree, that’s not only great for them, but also for their families. It’s an additional expense that they won’t have,” said Buchler.
    Mattawan High School Principal Tim Eastman said the   middle college program has gained momentum across  the state, with other school districts and intermediate school districts offering the program.
    Among those school districts include the Van Buren Intermediate School District (VBISD), Gull Lake School District, and Kalamazoo Regional Educational Service Agency Association, (KRESA).
    Buchler also thanked board of education members for their  service  to the district and community. January is designated as School Board  Recognition Month.
    “How appreciative I am to work with a dedicated board. Thank you so much for all that you do,” said Buchler.
    During the organization meeting held earlier, Scott Sylvester was elected as the new  board president, while Ted Rothlisberger was elected as vice president.

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