Tennis courts

Ionia Schools to upgrade college tennis courts and parking lot


IONIA – Ionia Public Schools plans to install new tennis courts and improve parking at its college.

The IPS Board of Education voted 6-0 at its Monday May 16 meeting to approve bids to upgrade the parking lot at Ionia Middle School and install new tennis courts at Ionia Secondary School.

“We are excited to continue to improve our facilities for our students, staff and community,” said IPS Superintendent Ben Gurk.

The project will cost over $2 million. Funding for the project will come from the district’s sinking fund and capital projects fund.

TowerPinkster is the project architect, while Owen-Ames-Kimball Co. is the construction manager. Both are based in Grand Rapids. Construction is expected to start this fall.

The college parking lot is located at the southwest corner of the Bluewater Freeway (M-21) and Union Street.

Rendering of the planned tennis courts at Ionia High School, 250 E. Tuttle Road, Ionia.

IPS plans to install eight tennis courts, which will be located east of the rather elementary school parking lot and south of the IHS baseball diamonds. The front of the tennis courts will match the front of nearby Lloyd T. Smith Memorial Field.

“One of the ideas was to create a more comprehensive sports complex,” Gurk said.

The district wants to remove the current tennis courts and replace them with additional parking, Gurk said.

“Currently our tennis courts are in extremely difficult condition,” he said. “We’ve been band-aids fixing them and fixing cracks with very little success for years now.”

IPS wants tennis courts to be open and accessible to the public, Gurk said.

“The $2 million price tag got me thinking, but after talking with (Gurk) and considering it, its longevity should be such that we don’t have operating costs like we do now” said Ionia School Board Treasurer Robin Marhofer. .

Rendering of the Ionia Middle School parking lot, 438 Union St., in Ionia.

The Ionia School Board also voted to replace 583 Chromebooks for around $146,000. IPS Chief Technology Officer Tim Blackmer said the devices are getting old. The district will use Federal COVID-19 Relief Funds (ESSER II) to cover the cost of the purchase.

Board members also voted to approve the purchase of two 77-passenger international buses from Midwest Transit for $212,680 – allowing IPS to remove two general education buses from its fleet. The cost of purchasing the buses is included in its 2022-2023 general fund appropriations budget.

After:Ionia Public Schools purchases 2 buses

IPS purchased two additional buses last fall, one for general education and one for special education. The district has secured offers to purchase new buses through the Michigan School Business Officials (MSBO) Bus Buying Program.

— Contact journalist Evan Sasiela at Follow him on Twitter @SalsaEvan.

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