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Oakridge Public Schools break ground on $16.1 million renovation project

The project is backed by a bond that was passed by the Oakridge community in 2019 by a 58% margin.

MUSKEGON COUNTY, Mich. — Oakridge Public Schools broke ground Wednesday on a $16.1 million project that will renovate and/or construct new spaces for all of its school buildings.

The project is backed by a bond that was passed by the Oakridge community in 2019.

"It just came together really well for what the community was looking for, the hopes and the dreams that they had for their kids. It was so evident that our community was growing and the need was really there," said Oakridge Public Schools Superintendent Tom Livezey, who pointed out that Oakridge Lower Elementary School is already at maximum capacity after being built 10 years ago.

The project will be in the works over the next two years. There will be renovations to all of the school district’s buildings, including the following changes:

  • 14 new or renovated classrooms
  • 2 new gymnasiums
  • 1 new small-group instructional space
  • 1 renovated media center
  • New and/or renovated bathrooms

The groundbreaking Wednesday was held outside the Lower Elementary construction site.

Livezey said he's grateful for the community support that made the project happen, and he's confident students and teachers are too.

"It means so much to them to have the community feel that much about them as students, as well as staff. I can just envision the smiles on their faces already," he said.

"The community really comes around the school, whether it's for academics or sports or fine arts. They wrap their arms around the kids and that means so much to me. It makes it that much more fulfilling leading this school district to have that kind of support."

School leaders say the construction will happen in phases and they will be announcing more details about the timeline soon. One thing they can reveal right now is that some of the new additions will be move-in ready by next fall.

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