AAPS Board Approves Mitchell Bids

Ann Arbor Public Schools Board of Education regular meeting (April 13, 2016): Forsythe Middle School, 1655 Newport Rd

The board is holding an executive session at 5:30 PM, citing attorney/client privilege.

During the regular meeting, beginning at 7:00 PM, the trustees will hear first briefings on three bid packs for the Mitchell Elementary expansion project.

Bid Pack 1 for the concrete flatwork and footing/foundations is expected to cost $91,006. Bid Pack 2, which includes glass/glazing, metal siding/lockers, and roofing, will cost $434,740. The mechanical and electrical work, which is included in Bid Pack 3, will cost $550,700.

The trustees will also hear the monthly budget monitoring report.

7:04 PM Vice President Christine Stead and trustee Andy Thomas approach the board table. Deputy Superintendent Human Resources and General Counsel David Comsa sits in for Superintendent Jeanice Swift.

7:07 PM Trustees Simone Lightfoot, Susan Baskett, Donna Lasinski and President Deb Mexicotte sit down. Trustee Patricia Manley is not present, as she is traveling.

7:12 PM Mexicotte calls the meeting to order.


Mexicotte notes that there is the possibility that the first briefing items might move to special briefing items, which means that they would be voted on tonight.


ASSOCIATION REPORT: Student Report: Pioneer High School

7:15 PM Pioneer students Basil Baccouche and Wouter Ritsema, along with three others, show a video highlighting the best parts of the school, representing all of the students. They made the video to “reflect how much they believe in the school.” They spent five and a half months and 100s of hours researching, filming, and editing. All of the students they talked to felt that what they did there mattered, the opportunities they had mattered.

The students walk through the aspects of the school they value: music, academics, athletics, athletics, student council, Pioneer Theatre Guild.

Some of the improvements they would like to see: an after-school tutorial program to help struggling students achieve academic success; more mulch in the landscaping to keep it from getting muddy.

Student Perspective: a student who had transferred to AAPS from Ypsilanti Community Schools gives his perspective. He says the difference between the districts is that he is given opportunity. Pioneer has given him a better direction. He is thankful to be here.

7:46 PM Stead says they did an amazing job talking about the very different ways students connect at Pioneer. The sense of community they described is reassuring to hear, she says. Stead also acknowledged the two teachers who were in attendance with their students: Jennifer Kunec and Don Packard.

As a Pioneer parent, Thomas says, he appreciated the video for all of the aspects the students highlighted. He put in a plug for the Pioneer music program.

Baskett asks if there was anything the board could to do to help the students get an after-school tutorial program.  She asks if the student body has approached their admin to get it to happen.

The thing that impresses Lasinski the most is that the students continue to grow and build on the base of Pioneer’s “rich history.” Lightfoot is impressed with the poise of the students presenting. She comments on the high quality of the video the students produced. She says that the students need to ask for the what of the things they want, and the board will figure out the how.

Mexicotte tells the students that the activities they are involved in matter and will translate into real success for them in their lives beyond high school. She suggests that they also include footage of special needs students, in the spirit of inclusiveness.


Comsa gives the superintendent report. Swift is in China, participating in school visits, student and parent meetings. She will give a full presentation on her time in China once she returns. Swift says “without a doubt,” AAPS students will benefit from the partnership between China and the district.

AAPS would like to thank the Ann Arbor City Council for approving a Huron Parkway traffic improvement project. This will improve safety for students crossing Huron Parkway to Huron High School. Comsa recognizes Thomas for work on school traffic safety committee.

AAPS has received a designation for being a community for being great for music education.  as Swift is in China meeting with schools, sharing info about the AAPS district with other schools.

Three more informational sessions hosted by Swift to give more information about the special education millage on May 3.


Planning Committee:  Stead notes that the district is getting a lot more bids for construction work, etc. She compliments the team on looking at the district’s previous actual experience with some of the lowest bidders. Because of the history the district has with some of those companies, some of the recommendations are for second lowest bidders, who have proved track records with the district.

Over the summer, the district is working to expand the Mitchell Elementary campus by about 120 seats. If the board is in agreement with the bids presented as first briefings, she agrees with Mexicotte that they could also be moved to special briefings.

Performance Committee: Thomas notes they have not met since last meeting.

Governance Committee: Mexicotte says they have not met. Working to schedule a meeting once Swift gets back from China.

INFORMATION ITEM: Monthly Budget Monitoring Report

Jill Minnick, Executive Director Finance, presents the monthly financial monitoring report for March 2016. Compares March 2016 with March 2015. General fund revenues collected this year exceeds last year. Higher enrollment contributes to this, as does higher collection of property taxes. Should see a bit of a normalization of the property taxes. Expenditures of 2016 exceed 2015. Slightly higher salary and retirement rates, to be expected.

Paid three months of transportation invoices in March. 72% of revenue has been collected. About 64% of expenditures have been paid out. On track with this time of year.

FIRST BRIEFING: Mitchell Expansion Bid Packs 1, 2, 3

Comsa notes that all the bid packs would be funded by the district sinking fund. Jen Hein, Interim Executive Director Physical Properties, presents. Hein notes that all of the companies recommended pay prevailing wage and are union.

Bid Pack 1: Concrete Flatwork and Footing Foundations

  • Concrete Flatwork:  Commercial Contracting Corp. of Auburn Hills, Michigan – $53,346
  • Concrete Footing/Foundations:    CI Contracting of Brighton, Michigan – $37,720

Bid Pack 2: Glass, Siding, Lockers, Roofing

  • Glass & Glazing:  Calvin Glass of Auburn Hills, Michigan – $125,000
  • Metal Clad Siding:  Liberty Sheet Metal of Shelby Township, Michigan – $203,550
  • Metal Lockers:  Rayhaven Group of Livonia, Michigan – $27,550
  • Roofing:  Quality Roofing of Ann Arbor, Michigan – $78,640

Hein notes that while they received a lower bid from Quality Glass, Quality did not include their bond with their bid. Because the district wants to focus on the companies that get it right the first time, they decided to recommend the company who presented a full bid the very first time.

Bid Pack 3: Mechanical/Electrical

  • Mechanical (Plumbing, HVAC):  Boone & Darr of Ann Arbor, Michigan – $371,000
  •  Electrical:  Harper Electric of Ann Arbor, Michigan – $179,700

8:32 PM Stead asks the expansion architect to discuss the recommendation for the specific type of HVAC. He says that after much discussion, they decided to go with a vertical unit ventilator.

Lasinski clarifies that the bid for the HVAC includes more than just the air conditioners. She asks about the metal siding they will be using. The architect says that it is similar to the siding used at Northside expansion. The expected life span of the metal cladding is “much longer” than the 25 year warranty it comes with. Lightfoot says she doesn’t like the siding on Northside. The architect says it will look different.

Mexicotte says that if there is no controversy or concern that might arise, she would like to move it to special briefing. Hein says they would like to have the work done by August 22. Thomas is “always queasy” about moving things from first briefing to special briefing. While most times there are no further questions, sometimes there are, he says. He asks Hein to help him understand the urgency. She says it will mean a two week delay if it is not approved tonight. The work is staked on the ground already.

“With some reservation,” Thomas says he supports moving it to special briefing. He asks for this not to be a habit. Baskett shares Thomas’s trepidation, but says she has no concerns about these bid recommendations and does not anticipate concern from the community.

Mexicotte moves the Mitchell Expansion bid packs to special briefing status, which means it be voted on tonight.


The board will vote on:

  • Mitchell Expansion Bid Pack 1: concrete flatwork and footing/foundations, costing $91,006
  • Mitchell Expansion Bid Pack 2: glass/glazing, metal siding/lockers, and roofing, costing $434,740
  • Mitchell Expansion Bid Pack 3: mechanical and electrical work, costing $550,700.

The consent agenda passes unanimously.


Mexicotte notes that they are looking for a date for an executive committee meeting once Swift returns.


Baskett speaks about her community college tour with some students from Pathways to Success.

Lasinski highlighted the testing taking place across the district, from the SAT to the PSAT to the M-STEP.


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