Clawson School District lays foundation stone for new college – Daily Tribune

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Clawson Public Schools is hosting a groundbreaking Monday for its new middle school building, which accounts for much of the $55.9 million bond district voters approved last year.

“This is the bond’s first large-scale project,” said Clawson Schools Superintendent Billy Shellenbarger. “We’ve started other things, but that’s the big chunk that kicks off everything else.”

School officials, community members and students are scheduled to attend the groundbreaking at 5 p.m. Monday at the site of the new middle school at 150 John M. Avenue.

Nearly 76% of district voters last year approved the $55.9 million bond proposal.

“They went to the polls last August and gave us the opportunity not just to survive, but to thrive,” Shellenbarger said.

The money allows the district to have all of its 1,300 students in separate buildings on a single campus connected only by a common hallway with locked security doors between the high school, a new middle school, and a K-5 elementary school.

The current middle school is attached to the high school, which will be modernized and converted into classrooms for students from Kenwood and Schalm elementary schools.

Shellenbarger said the new middle school is being built as a wing of the high school building.

“The middle school should be ready for the 2023-2024 school year,” he said, “and elementary students will have their new space in the fall of 2024.”

Part of the renovations to the new campus include the renovation and expansion of two gymnasiums.

There will also be technology and classroom upgrades, as well as additions for secure vestibule entrances to school buildings.

In the face of declining enrollment, the new single campus will allow the district to “properly size” its facilities and make a number of infrastructure improvements, school officials said earlier.

Clawson school officials began talking about seeking bail in 2020 after the Troy School District rejected a proposed merger with the Clawson School District.

In September 2020, a 45-member bond committee made up of parents, business owners, teachers, staff, students, and city leaders worked for months on the bond proposal.

Shellenbarger, the former principal of Clawson High School and Middle School, was chosen to be the school district’s new superintendent in April to replace former superintendent Tim Wilson, who retired this summer.

Shellenbarger said he welcomed teachers and staff on Wednesday to start the new school year.

He said he wanted to “take what is already a great community and school district to a new level.”

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