Ludington Area School District is planning to continue to use Pere Marquette Early Childhood Center building and property through the second phase of construction, according to Interim Superintendent Peg Mathis.

“When they start shutting down classrooms to build-on and renovate and move people around, we really do not have enough space to house everyone during the construction project,” Mathis said. “We have the Horizons and Trailblazers programs at the high school and with remodeling and renovation beginning there. We will be moving Horizons and Trailblazers temporarily to the Pere Marquette building.”

Mathis said Pere Marquette Early Childhood Center will temporarily house those programs for the time being. Pere Marquette give the district the flexibility to move programs or people around until the district can move the students and staff back to the secondary school complex.

In the original bond application submitted to the state, the Pere Marquette property was not designated as a building that would be demolished at the time. Former superintendent Jason Kennedy said Pere Marquette was the building that has garnered the most interest from potential buyers out of the former school building properties.

The only financing submitted for Pere Marquette was for the removal of fiber optics at a projected cost at that time of around $106,892.

The building will still have a use for the district during the secondary complex project. Mathis said the bid process for the secondary complex will be open right before the holiday break.

“They will begin awarding bids right after the first of the year,” she said. “Right after that well get a trailer on site and get moving with the project.”

Mathis said the elementary school is on schedule for its completion and move-in after the first of the year. She along with district staff and volunteers began moving boxes into the building last week.

“We can’t occupy the building yet, but we started moving items into the new building,” she said.

Mathis was not sure of the date the district could take occupancy but did note that there still needs to be a final inspection before the district will be able to occupy the building.

“I expect that date to be very soon,” she said. “We are still on schedule to begin the school year on Tuesday, Jan. 4.”

It will also be a time of seeing incoming Superintendent Kyle Corlett of starting his move toward Ludington from Delton-Kellogg. The district hired Corlett earlier this month.

Mathis said Corlett will spend some time in the district during the month of December.

“(It) could (be) days here and there,” she said. “He is going to start meeting with groups and getting acclimated.”

School Board President Steve Carlson said Corlett will begin the transition to the district in December working with Mathis, and he plans to attend the elementary school open house at 11 a.m. on Dec. 11.

“He is committed to getting an early start and getting up to speed as quickly as possible,” Carlson told the Daily News in a story just after he was hired.

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