One of the gems of Traverse City Area Public School’s (TCAPS) elementary school network, surveys of Cherry Knoll’s deteriorating mechanical system and other infrastructure, caused the administration to take steps to remediate the popular school structure for students living on the southeast side of Traverse City. Among the deficiencies noted were site access issues; multiple entryways; poor interior circulation; smallest classrooms in the district; code violations; steam tunnel system in poor condition; boiler replacement; low existing ceilings; and replacement insulation and windows in most exterior walls. In March of 2004 bids were opened for the publicly posted project. The construction contract was awarded to GRAND TRAVERSE CONSTRUCTION in April of that year, with construction starting in mid-July. On June 1st, 2009 the $7.5M renovation project was completed.

Bryan Lawton and Steve Fleis headed the team for Grand Traverse Construction. Bryan was project manager, while Steve was its superintendent. “We basically did a complete overhaul of the existing school complex” explains Bryan, noting that only the existing gym (in almost new condition) was saved.