BERRIEN SPRINGS — The Berrien Springs school district has bought another property in connection with the Sylvester Stadium project.
School board members Thursday authorized Superintendent Dave Eichberg to execute a buy/sell agreement with the owner of the property at 211 W. Hamilton St. The district is buying the property consisting of two lots, including a vacant house, for $150,000.
Eichberg said the property is adjacent to the stadium and is the fourth and last property the district is buying to make way for the construction project. He said the owner of the property wishes to remain anonymous. The other three properties were purchased earlier for a total price of around $200,000.
The district broke ground on the new $9 million project in May. The new stadium replaces the Sylvester football field with a complex that will not only be home to the high school’s football program, but also the soccer and track and field programs. The work is expected to be finished by Aug. 1, 2020.
The project came about as part of the district’s overall campus master plan, as well as a result of the $19 million bond issue voters approved last November. The new performing arts center and indoor athletic center being built next to the high school will require that the track and soccer fields to be moved to the new location.
Relative to the bond issue projects, Eichberg told board members that the district’s construction management firm is asking the district to consider starting work a little earlier next year. The district had planned to break ground next June but it could now be moved to April. He said the later groundbreaking date could have resulted in fewer bidders.
Also, board members had a first reading of new student handbooks for Mars Elementary, Sylvester Elementary, Berrien Springs High School and the offsite Success Virtual Learning Centers. The middle school’s handbook is not being revised, as it has no changes.
Administrators reported that the revised student handbooks will have new language regarding tardies, early dismissals, absences, volunteer chaperones, high school honor rolls and top 10 students, discipline and positive behavioral support.
Those hired for on-campus positions were Carla Belenger as a fourth-grade teacher, Jamie Sandoval as a fifth-grade teacher and Bryon Scoggin as a curriculum specialist for non-traditional programs. Timothy Rebb was hired as a history and sociology teacher at Lake Michigan Catholic.