Bond Project Update

Bond Update Graphic
On November 7, 2017 the Avondale School District Community approved a $30.7 million bond proposal that makes it possible for the District to move forward with necessary infrastructure upgrades. Upgrades that include enhancements to safety, security, and technology as well as building operation upgrades such as boiler and lighting replacements that are designed to save the District money and provide return on investment. Technological advancement in areas like lighting, cooling, and heating has resulted in production of equipment that is run more efficiently. Movement to upgrade to these more cost effective items ensures that necessary improvements are made without impacting the operating budget that supports our classrooms.

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Security Camera Views of AHS Hallway
Avondale School's new security program highlights "hardening" of American classrooms

reprinted from the Oakland Press, October 2018
by Natalie Broda

In the Avondale School District of Auburn Hills, hallways are monitored with 512 security cameras linked directly to the Auburn Hills Police Department.

Students and staff are trained every year, for the past three years, by police on what to do during an active shooter situation. Soon, every classroom door will only be accessible by swipe card. New secure entrances, with staff to intercept people before they enter the building, will be built in the coming years. The new security measures at Avondale highlight a paradigm shift in the American education system as school districts grapple with the widespread reality of shootings. Where once the best practice was to shield and hide children from danger, today the kids are being told to do whatever it takes for them to survive.

"We've told them forever that they can't do this or that, but now we're telling them 'You do anything you need to do to survive and your won't get in trouble," Brian Miller, officer in the Auburn Hills Police Department who trained students and staff at Avondale said. "I'll be honest, the hardest part is the reality of this difficult topic. But the kids, they come up to us and thank us for actually giving them options."

Such as running a zig-zag formation away from an active shooter scene or throwing nearby objects at the shooter in order to get away. Officer Metter Smith, school resource officer, said there's no more room for sugar coating the situation in schools.

"We use simple language, no more codes. For the little kids, we'll use the big bad wolf as an example. It's not as in-depth but we do talk about the drills, that we don't want them tucked away in the corner anymore, we have to condition ourselves away from fear," Smith said.

Last fall, a $30.7 million bond was approved by voters for the district to spend on technology and security upgrades.

In the past few months Avondale has replaced all its cameras with newer high-definition ones, while adding approximately 175 more. The liaison officer can pull up any camera in the district instantly and feed that video live to the Auburn Hills Police Department should an active shooter situation, or otherwise, arise. The cameras also have remote site tracking.

"It's unfortunate that we have to be prepared for what we're seeing across the nation," Dr. James Schwarz, superintendent of Avondale said. "As much as we want to live in a bubble, we can't. We have to arm them with information to provide the safest environment for everyone."

In the coming months, in addition to active shooter training, the district will begin Stop the Bleed courses with staff and students. Its focus is to teach bystanders how to properly stop life-threatening bleeding. In mass casualty situations most fatalities are caused by blood loss, according to trauma specialists from S. Joseph Mercy Oakland. There won't be an opt-out option for students for those programs, Schwarz said.

"The truth of the matter is, this isn't just isolated to schools. Look at other places where these incidents have occurred, there's no guaranteed safety no matter where you go. We're hoping this training follows them as a life skill," Schwarz said.
Thank you for supporting our students

September, 2018 update/overview of project completion and progress over the summer: Workers completed work on upgrades to technology infrastructure that included the replacement of network switches. Work was also completed on the replacement of the Avondale Middle School boilers and installation of a new district-wide phone system.

Contractors started on installation of the freight elevator in the high school field house and they continue to work on upgrading the security cameras in all buildings. We are increasing the number of cameras around the district as well as adding functionality that allows local law enforcement to monitor our buildings in the event of an emergency via the new cameras’ feeds.  

During the summer break 45 classroom projectors were replaced as well as the PA systems at Deerfield Elementary and Woodland Elementary. Tech devices for Project Lead the Way at Avondale High School and Avondale Middle School were purchased as were four new school buses.

June, 2019 update/overview of project completion and anticipated projects completed before Labor Day, 2019:

Since last fall, completed projects include the freight elevator and the auditorium sound board at the high school and the boiler replacement at the middle school.

Projects that have been started with an anticipated completion date of September 2, 2019 are the interior renovations at the high school (cafeteria serving line upgrades, orchestra pit lift, locker room renovations, mechanical improvements, pool lighting improvements and pool equipment); the high school media center renovation; the middle school outdoor running track; and the transportation office addition, garage renovation and site improvements.

In June, after school recesses for the summer, work will begin on the R. Grant Graham Elementary secured vestibule; separation walls, parking lot, and playground equipment at Meadows Learning Center; and the Transportation Department office and site improvements. These improvements are also expected to be completed prior to the start of school in the fall.

September, 2019 update/overview of project completion

Construction projects and renovations have been ongoing around the District since the start of summer.

Avondale High School:  New food service line, hydraulic lift in the orchestra pit, Media Center rebuild and the addition of a chair left to the swimming pool and replacement of pumps and filters in the pool are all complete.

Avondale Middle School:  Outdoor running track replacement is complete.

Avondale Meadows:  New playground and landscaping and parking lot replacements are all complete.

The new transportation department office is also complete.

(Schedule adjustments may need to be made due to unavoidable delays related to equipment acquisition, labor disruptions, weather, etc.)
Last Updated - June, 2019