Construction of new middle school gets under way

Students get ready to break ground for their new middle school (photo by senior Beth Buyze)

Construction of the new middle school, the largest component of the $58.6 million bond issue passed in May of 2016, has begun.

Showing off Sparta pride (photo by senior Beth Buyze)

The groundbreaking celebration included participation by fourth-, fifth- and sixth-graders, who will be the first users of the new building when it opens in 2020. They were joined by school board members, village officials, architects and construction crew, as well as previous Superintendent Gordie Nickels and new Superintendent Pete Bush.

“We are deeply grateful to the community for its support of this major improvement to
our schools, including those who worked so hard on the bond issue and all those who have supported it,” said Bush. “It is an exciting time for us as we celebrate the groundbreaking for the new Sparta Middle School.”

Added board member Pamela May: “Our community believes in you enough to provide you with the best education as we can.”

Students take a closer look at sketches of what their new school building will look like

“This building belongs to all of us,” Middle School Principal Brad Wood told students. “This school was built for you, and you will be the first to experience what an amazing facility it will be.”

Students displayed Spartan pride and cheered for each announcement. They all signed a banner that will be displayed at the 2020 school opening. Also planned is an ongoing time capsule activity.

In total, the bond project included a new middle school, new athletic complex, renovations to two elementary schools, partial demolition and renovation of the existing middle school for early childhood care and auxiliary gym, and minor renovations to the high school.

Project partners include construction management firm The Christman Company and project architect GMB Architecture and Engineering.

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Janice Holst
Janice Holst has been both a teacher and a journalist. A former MLive reporter, she wrote features and covered local government and schools for Advance Newspapers for nearly two decades. She also was a recipe columnist and wrote features for Mature Life Style and occasional entertainment pieces for On The Town magazines. She lives in Sparta Township and is thrilled to spend some of her retirement hours writing the stories of the northern Kent County school districts. Read Janice's full bio

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