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June 2024: Okemos Public Schools Breaks Ground on $79 million Middle School

Okemos Public Schools Breaks Ground on $79 million Middle School

(OKEMOS, MI) June 6, 2024 - Okemos Public Schools’ district leadership and Board of Education Trustees celebrated the ceremonial groundbreaking of the new Chippewa Middle School, made possible by the 2022 Bond program

As part of the $275 million bond program, the new middle school will feature future-ready learning environments, including a state-of-the art auditorium, outdoor learning spaces, and natural pathways throughout the site. The new facility is designed to support innovative educational practices and provide a learning environment that meets the needs of both current and future students.

“Today begins an exciting new era for our district,” Superintendent John Hood shared. “The newly constructed schools will have long-lasting impacts on our Okemos students, community, and staff.” 

A portion of the existing Chippewa Middle School will be renovated and integrated into the new structure. This shared space will eventually serve both Chippewa Middle School and Kinawa 5/6 School.

Construction of the new Chippewa Middle School is scheduled to be completed for the 2026 school year. Kinawa is scheduled to move into their new space by the 2030 school year.

Additional bond projects this summer include secured vestibule construction at Hiawatha Elementary and the high school and drainage improvements to the outside of OPM.

We are thankful for the Okemos community’s continued support of our schools and patience as these projects officially begin!  

2022 Bond Background

The district identified the pressing needs of its facilities and grounds through a community steering committee, listening sessions and surveys, and expert-led facilities assessments. It became clear that a bond program was needed to address aging building infrastructure, accommodate long-term enrollment increases, and re-imagine the future era of Okemos. In November 2022, the community voted to support a $275 million bond program to fund projects prioritizing safety and security, creating future-ready learning environments, and upgrading aging infrastructure.

Project Scope

  • The replacement of three buildings that are beyond their useful lives, including Chippewa and Kinawa schools and Cornell Elementary; 

  • Building safety enhancements with secure entry vestibules at each school

  • Pressing needs improvements district-wide, as identified in a district-wide facility assessment; 

  • Performing arts and kitchen expansion at Okemos High School; 

  • Furniture replacement and technology improvements.

The first completed projects added secure vestibules at Edgewood, Okemos Public Montessori, Cornell and Bennett Woods, high-priority infrastructure improvements, and high school athletics, including the newly constructed barrier-free athletic stadium entry and plaza.

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