Renovations are underway at the Clare-Gladwin RESD’s John C. Magnus Center to address the need for better facilities to house the career and technical education (CTE) programs chosen by nearly 350 local high school juniors and seniors annually. Phase one of the project is scheduled for completion in May 2015..
Formerly home to Magnus Tractor Sales, the majority of the property’s nearly 25-acres was donated to the RESD in the spring of 2013 by the family of the late John C. Magnus and contains multiple outbuildings, a barn, and a house. The RESD began working with architectural and engineering firms last fall to determine a master plan for the space to be carried out in stages as funding is secured.
During the 2013-2014 school year, two outbuildings were removed and students in the CTE Construction Trades program prepped the property for the upcoming renovations, as well as remodeled the house to make it handicapped accessible for Clare-Gladwin Area School students to use in the future to practice life skills.
Earlier this summer, Clare-Gladwin RESD accepted the lowest bid from Bolle Contracting in Clare, and the demolition of old foundations and the back portion of the main building is currently in progress. Several beams and a portion of the barn floor will be replaced this fall, along with the construction of a new driveway to better fit school busses and emergency vehicles. To accommodate future development, a new septic field will be put in and further excavation will take place. Technology wiring will be installed and the new learning lab and classroom for the Health Occupations program will occupy the renovated front portion of the property’s main building. The $100,000 grant awarded to the RESD last year by the Rollin M. Gerstacker Foundation of Midland will help fund this phase of the expansion.
According to Clare-Gladwin RESD Superintendent Sheryl Presler, all of the project’s contractors have agreed to let the CTE Construction Trades students work side-by-side with them on various tasks, such as building new stud walls. “This is a real-world learning opportunity for our students,” said Presler. “We are grateful these companies recognize the value of vocational education and are willing to help shape the future workforce of their industry.” Approximately $15,000 will be saved by having the students’ assistance.