IM begins school projects


Staff Writer

IRON MOUNTAIN – Plans are progressing on the Iron Mountain Schools bond projects, school officials announced.

All that remains are the preliminary budgets for projects at the administration building, high school gym and Izzo-Mariucci Center.

Steve Brooks of the school’s Building and Grounds Committee has been working with Jim Ebli of Gundlach Champion of Iron Mountain, the construction manager for the project. He said that the preliminary budgets for all the projects are coming in along with final estimates.

“We will be working at East Elementary School this summer to prepare for grades 4-6 to be there this fall. Spending so far on bond projects has been far lower than the estimates,” Brooks said.

He added that a fair amount of money has been spent in the technology area for infrastructure and new devices for teachers.

“Those costs have also come in lower than estimated,” he said.

Bid awards approved, so far, have included J.H. Zawada for general trades work, WDM Heating & Air Conditioning for heating work, and MJ Electric for the electrical and communications work.

Supt. Tom Jayne said that the general trades work in this first phase of the project is mostly “behind the scenes” and not as noticeable as the projects that are coming later.

The first phase includes putting in kitchen equipment at East Elementary School, two new boilers at North Elementary School, installing lockers at East Elementary, painting, plumbing and heating at East, WiFi throughout the district, energy efficient lighting in the district, and a new bell system at East Elementary.

At this time, the plan is to hold off on moving the basketball court to the south at East Elementary School as well as putting in some new playground equipment, Jayne added.

Technology Director Kris Khor said that the MacBooks and iPads for the teachers are in with plans for six different voluntary inservices for staff this summer – three on the Mac Books and three on the iPads.

With the donation of $100,000 to the music program at Iron Mountain Schools from Gary Johnson, a 1961 graduate of IMHS, music bid awards are now set.

The bids were for 46 new instruments for the band, four new pianos, a new K-6 music curriculum, chimes for the choral department, chairs and stands for band, and new choir uniforms.

The instrument bids were awarded to Michelson Music of Negaunee, Jim’s Music of Iron Mountain, and Thunder Island Music in Iron Mountain.

Johnson was influenced during his time at IMHS by two people – his father Ewald Johnson who repaired instruments for students and former choral and band director Wally Swanson. Johnson’s friend Rena Richtig-Cheney is responsible for signing off on any expenditures made through 2023.

In addition to the $100,000 donation this year, Johnson has pledged $10,000 a year to the music department for the next nine years.

Additionally, Community Schools Director Julie Wonders announced that the move of the office from East to Central School is completed with everything up and running.

Linda Lobeck’s e-mail address is