MAPS on move to improve school safety

MARQUETTE — Since the Marquette Area Public School Teachers have a new contract, the school board can now concentrate on other school matters.

The board said a top priority is school safety, and are looking to improve the district’s schools.  This year, the district saw a record enrollment, which was one of the reasons why the board could afford pay raises for the teachers.

“After we saw the high enrollment numbers coming in this summer, and we had the passing of the sinking fund which helped alleviate having to spend some dollars in those areas and the increase from the state last May, the combination of those three things freed us up to be able to come to terms and settle with our teachers,” MAPS Superintendent Bill Saunders said.

The sinking fund budget amount needed to make improvements to area schools was $16 million. But with 11 million dollars approved, some much needed items will get immediate attention. First on the list is the entryway for Marquette High school, and number of other items will follow.

“We need to build a new secure entrance into the sandy knoll elementary school and then we have four of our older buildings that have outdated fire alarm systems that need updating from a safety standpoint,” Saunders said.  “Those are really high priority needs for us to get those fire alarm systems set up.”

The board is also looking into an offer they received to sell a piece of land west of the Marquette High School football field.