CHASSELL - At the Nov. 19 Chassell Township School Board of Education meeting, Superintendent George Stockero talked to the board about using the sinking fund money to make improvements to the bleachers and gym floor.
During an interview Friday, Stockero shared updates on the project.
"I want to replace the bleachers and completely redo the gym floor and that means sanding it down to wood to make it nice and smooth and then repainting and re-varnishing," Stockero said.
Money to fund the project will come from a variety of sources.
The Chassell community passed a sinking fund millage three years ago with a rate of .2 mills. Each year, the sinking fund generates approximately $10,000 to renovate existing structures.
"The first $10,000 went to renovate the old bus garage into the small engines and robotics class," he said. "Today, we have $20,000 in the sinking fund and we will get another $10,000 next September. To me, the money is designated for this project."
After obtaining bids for bleachers and flooring, the project is expected to cost roughly $52,000.
"Based on the square footage of the floor, it would cost $18,000 to redo. Talking to Horner Flooring, they're willing to come in and donate $6,000 toward the project and do it for $12,000," Stockero said.
The bid for the bleachers came in a $36,369 with an additional $2,500 for taking out the old bleachers, $275 for building permits and architectural fees ranging from $500 to $1,000.
During the Nov. board meeting, Stockero mentioned talking to the Chassell Booster Club about funding portions of the project, but since the meeting plans have shifted.
"The booster club is willing to help take out the old bleachers, which would save us $2,500," he said.
This leaves Chassell Township Schools with an additional $20,000 to raise for the project. To assist in collecting donations, Stockero has called on the junior class for assistance.
"We are in the process of creating and doing a letter writing campaign. We plan to send the letters to our alumni, local businesses, community members and community organizations to see if we can raise the money - the $20,000." Stockero said.
The junior class was split into four groups to develop a letter and next week the groups will come together as a class and combine their letters into one.
"They would like to be the first senior class to use the floor and bleachers," he said.
Stockero hopes to have the donation letters finalized prior to Christmas break and have them mailed by the New Year.
"I think I need to have an answer, to know I have enough money by the end of February to say the project can be done this summer, otherwise we will have to wait another year," Stockero said.
If enough funds are raised, the project can begin in July and will be completed by the end of the month to avoid disrupting practice schedules.
Unlike the current bleachers which are difficult to set up and hard for senior citizens to maneuver, Stockero hopes the new bleachers will be safer, easier to use and more comfortable.
"There'd be stairs to walk up in multiple places, where the steps are like half steps," he said. "There'd be more railings. It would be more comfortable. And it would have sections that are handicap accessible."
The current bleachers are difficult to set up and pull out in one fluid motion, which often results in scratches to the gym floor, but with a new set this would change.
"Typically new bleachers come with an electrical system where you push a button and it would come in and out, so it's a lot smoother on the floors," Stockero said.
When considering making a donation, Stockero wants community members to remember that this isn't just about the athletes.
"This isn't just an athletic endeavor, though it's going to be great for the athletics and when we host tournaments, this is where our Christmas programs are and our Veteran's Day programs. It's going to help the entire community," Stockero said.