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Posted on Fri, Apr 6, 2012 : 5:53 a.m.

Ann Arbor schools submits site plan for track equipment storage facility at Huron High School

By Danielle Arndt

Track and field athletes no longer would have to haul equipment to and from the track, if city officials approve a new storage facility at Huron High School.

View Proposed athletic equipment storage facility at Huron High School in a larger map

Ann Arbor Public Schools submitted a site plan to the city of Ann Arbor Tuesday for the installation of a 24-by-30 foot pre-engineered pole barn.

The unit would house hurdles, vaulting mats and poles, starting blocks and other equipment.

Randy Trent, executive director of physical properties for the district, said due to a lack of space in other athletic facilities near the track, the team has been storing its equipment piecemeal in a variety of locations, including in the high school gym. The hurdles often are left outdoors year-round, Trent said, adding the barn would allow the team to know its equipment is safe at night.

The pole barn would require installation of a fire hydrant nearby as well. Trent said per city ordinance, there must be a fire hydrant within 250 feet of a building.

Huron High School was constructed prior to the ordinance being passed, he said, so other facilities in the vicinity of the track and football field would benefit from the fire protection as well.

The pole barn would be erected on the east side of the track near the dressing rooms and batting cages. The edge of the barn would set 12.6 feet from the existing fence surrounding the athletic field, according to documents submitted to the Ann Arbor Planning Division.

The fence would be cut to install a 12.5-foot wide, double-swing gate to grant entrance into the storage facility from the track.

The water main leading to the fire hydrant must be at a minimum depth of 5.5 feet, according to planning documents, and contractors would be required to test the water for bacteria after installing the hydrant infrastructure.

In total, the project would cost an estimated $60,000 to $70,000.

Trent said the money would be taken from the district’s sinking fund. Athletic improvements at Huron were part of the original sinking fund proposal.

“We let them have some input into what they wanted and they said this was a need,” Trent said.

Voters in the Ann Arbor Public Schools district approved a sinking fund millage of 1 mill in 2004 and renewed the millage in 2008. A sinking fund allows districts to spend their taxpayers’ money as they collect it, unlike a bond millage, which involves the district borrowing the full amount of the bond upfront from a third-party lender.

Per state law, sinking fund dollars can be used for the purchase of real estate, construction projects or building repairs. Sinking fund money cannot be used for operational, transportation or technology costs.

Heaney General Contracting, Inc. is listed as the general contractor for the project on the site plan documents submitted to the Planning Division. Beckett and Raeder, Inc., a landscape, architecture, engineering and environmental services firm, drafted the documents on the school district's behalf.

To view the official site plan application, click here.

Staff reporter Danielle Arndt covers K-12 education for Follow her on Twitter @DanielleArndt or email her at



Sat, Apr 7, 2012 : 7:09 a.m.

Yes, invest in education.


Fri, Apr 6, 2012 : 3:12 p.m.

While many people come to A2 for the great schools, they also come for great athletics. In fact I wouldn't be surprised if more came for athletics.


Fri, Apr 6, 2012 : 1:52 p.m.

60-70k would have fixed the planetarium -OR- significantly upgraded the network links between 2 or 3 schools, both of which are approved uses of the sinking fund money. Unfortunately it can not be used for computers. As usual Varsity Athletics before academics and of course once you have this building you have to maintain it and keep it secure - additional annual expenses that the school budget will have to deal with on an annual basis. Way to prioritize spending AAPS! Great message to send to the community Board of Education. I will summarize it for you "We have plenty of money for Athletics, but we are too poor to support the classrooms."


Fri, Apr 6, 2012 : 12:53 p.m.

Want to seriously save money?? Stop doing these site-planning studies and wasting the time and money on all these approval processes -- if the schools have the money, just keep it in the schools and build whatever you need if you have it in the budget.


Sat, Apr 7, 2012 : 7:11 a.m.

Now that wouldn't be any fun, now would it? I would say so.

Wake Up A2

Fri, Apr 6, 2012 : 11:39 a.m.

60-70k? I wonder if that teacher ever got that upgrade to the his failing equipment in the planetarium? Wasn't that about the same amount? I know A2 wouldn't put Athletics above Academics........