PORTAGE, Mich. (WOOD) — The first day of school is almost a month away for Portage students and major construction projects mean they will see several changes.
The new North Middle School will welcome students on Sept. 3 for the first day of classes.
According to Superintendent Mark Bielang, the building is part of a $144 million bond project voters approved in 2015 to overhaul the district’s three middle schools and improve the athletic facilities.
“That bond is funding the construction of two new middle schools, two pools — one at each high school — a new stadium at each facility, at each of the two high schools, and renovations to West Middle School as well as our community education center,” Bielang said.
West Middle School is also being renovated to modernize the classroom design.
“Some of that will be done for students as they come in this fall and the rest of it will be done next year over next summer,” Bielang said.
The brand new Central Middle School is under construction and is scheduled to open next fall.
Some of the classrooms at North Middle School are already being outfitted with furniture and are beginning to take shape.
“They’re going to be coming to a facility that’s a three-story building that has space that’s been created specifically for the ways kids learn these days,” Bielang said. “We have classrooms on each floor and so we will be able to organize ourselves by grade.”
Even with time running out to finish the project before students arrive, the superintendent is confident the new North Middle School will be ready.
“It’ll be ready. It’s just like with any construction project. There’s going to be things that are happening right at the very last second but we’re confident that we’ve got the right people on the job,” Bielang said.
The project included updating the football and soccer fields at both Portage Northern and Portage Central High Schools. The fields have already been in use at Portage Northern. The football facilities at Portage Central are expected to be ready for the first game this fall.