Tuscola school buildings in midst of summer face-lift

By Kayleigh Rahn
New windows are installed at Tuscola Community High School, new paint is on the walls in the East Prairie gymnasium, and the lobby bathroom at TCHS is nearly complete–all just in time for August to roll back around.

The work at the junior high and high schools have been obvious for those making daily commutes past the buildings. Crews have worked since the final bell sounded in May to continue updates funded by the countywide sales tax earmarked for capital projects. The 1 percent sales tax has been in place for nearly four-and-a-half years and has brought in a total of $2.5 million to the school district. As of April, the district received $174,244 to date within the calendar year, according to Superintendent Michael Smith, though on average the district sees just more than $600,000 per year.

“I don’t think people will even remember how bad the ceiling was,” Smith said, remembering the East Prairie gym’s cream-colored rafters with chipped paint revealing the metal fixtures. The former green and gold are just memories now that the final pieces of the former colors have been covered with the Tuscola-wide black and gold school colors.

The bright white ceiling creates great contrast between the new gold, black, and gray walls. Bleacher boards will also be replaced with new pieces and a safety steps and railing will be installed in the coming weeks as well.

The next step is the installation of the wall pads under each basketball hoop, a floor renovation, and installation of a possible new scoreboard.

The floor design includes a large Hornet at center court, and “Home of the Hornets” will face the bleachers on the south side of the gym.

“I thought the design turned out more kid-friendly than what is at the high school,” Smith said “The design is geared toward junior high more so than the high school.”

With approval from the Board of Education, the scoreboard could be ordered as early as Tuesday, July 25. If the board gives Smith the green light, the scoreboard will include three sponsorship signs from local businesses. The two smaller spots will run at $400 per year for five years; the single, middle, larger advertisement spot will cost $750 per year for five years.

The full story can be found in the July 19, 2017, edition of The Tuscola Journal.