Okemos school buildings have an average age of 49 years, and they require diligent attention to keep them safe, efficient, and capable of meeting today’s educational needs. Each project listed below has been identified by our Administrative Team as “Level 1 Critical.”

Facility Upgrades: $6,390,000

Cornell, Hiawatha, OPM at Central, Edgewood, and two wings of Chippewa 7/8 School are not currently air conditioned.  Adding air conditioning across the district is expected to have the following benefits:

  • Improved health for some issues, such as asthma
  • Fans currently used to combat excessive heat negatively impact behavior and learning
  • Extended school year/balanced calendar could be considered
  • People’s work/study habits are more effective when they are comfortable
  • Heat creates issues with technology and furniture (humidity, mold)
  • Excessive heat can lead to dehydration, impacting learning
  • Behavior would be impacted positively
  • Equity across district (some buildings are currently air conditioned; others are not) and as compared to people who work in businesses


Cost estimates:  implementation in each building:

  • OPM at Central:  $440,000
  • Cornell:  $525,000
  • Hiawatha:  $705,000
  • Edgewood:  $415,000
  • Chippewa (Fine Arts and Science wings):  $90,000 

Sad-looking public bathroom showing 2 sinks, ripped up floor, mirror missingThe main (hallway) bathrooms in every building will be renovated.  Current conditions in these restrooms are sub-standard and each requires attention.

Replacement of florescent lighting with high-efficiency LED lighting is expected to save the district between $80,000-$100,000 annual in energy costs.

Severely cracked floor surfaces at both of these courts makes them unusable for physical education classes, after-school, and community use.   

The current traffic flow pattern at Cornell Elementary results in significant congestion during pick-up and drop-off times.  The proposed expansion at Bennett Woods Elementary will require adjustments to their parking lot and traffic flow patterns.

Necessary upgrades to the existing building fire systems will be installed.

The Fine Arts programs in Okemos are excellent and they attract a large number of students. The current instrument & equipment storage facilities at our high school are not able to meet the needs of so many students. ($250,000)

The auditorium stage floors at both Chippewa and OHS are cracked and warped, and are currently unusable for certain performances.  ($185,000)   

There are two underground fuel tanks at the Bus Depot which require very costly monthly inspections.  The proposed bond would replace these underground tanks with above-ground models that will not require the same level of inspection, saving the district thousands of dollars annually.