One thing I have learned since joining the MAISD is that it is a very busy place! The building my office is in, the Educational Services Center, was built in 1970 (later expanded in 1989 and 2000) and is clearly a central meeting hub connecting our schools and community. The past several years, MAISD programs and services have grown in response to local district needs and changes within the State Department of Education.
MAISD programs for instructional support, curriculum development, preschool management, and special education support have all expanded significantly. At the same time, the Governor and state legislature have charged ISDs to increase efficiencies by providing non-instructional services for local districts in areas like business and technology. For example, we now provide business services to schools in Fruitport, Holton, Mason County, Montague, Muskegon, Muskegon Heights, North Muskegon, and Oakridge. In addition, we maintain the countywide fiber network, house computer servers for districts, and providing specialized technical assistance to multiple schools.
We talk often with school districts about how the MAISD may be able to help them in the future, and we expect this trend of expanded services to continue. While this is right in line with the MAISD’s mission to complement and enhance the efforts of our schools, we have stretched the capacity of our physical building to its limits. Since 2000, the MAISD has added the Countywide Fiber Network, Early College, Early Head Start and Head Start for Muskegon and Oceana counties, Great Start Collaborative, Great Start Readiness Program, the Muskegon Area Career Tech Center, Muskegon Opportunity, REAL Science, the Regional Mathematics and Science Center for Muskegon and Newaygo counties, Showcase, and the Transition Campus at the Hub.
The good news is that we have found a solution to this space problem. On July 21, the MAISD Board of Education approved a motion that allows ISD leaders the ability to finalize the purchase of property at 684 Harvey Street (also known as Oakview Medical Building) in Muskegon. Once the sale is complete, the 22,000 square foot building will continue to house Shoreline Pediatrics and provide needed office and meeting space for our adjacent Educational Services Center.
The building's owner has accepted the MAISD's offer and an August 15 closing date has been set, pending the results of an environmental study and final survey of the property. After several years of study, we believe we have selected a facility that will position us for a bright future serving our families, our schools, and our community.
Dr. John Severson
MAISD is an equal opportunity employer