Design expected to start in May for new schools

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, April 7, 1999

ROME — Fairland isn’t taking any chances with its new schools.

Wednesday, April 07, 1999

ROME — Fairland isn’t taking any chances with its new schools.

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School principals recently gave the architect, Mark Tanner, detailed plans about how they saw the layout of the new high school and renovations and additions to the current three buildings, said Jerry McConnell, school superintendent.

And the architect has predicted starting designs by May.

"We’re handling this project step by step," McConnell said. "The plans call for input from the administrators and if there would be any interest from staff members, that would also be considered.

"At the moment, the principals of each building have met with the architect and they were asked to give input on how the design of the building would best accommodate the curriculum needs. They have each taken the floor plans of the buildings and penciled in what they believe would be the best design. And then the architect and principals will get back together and decide if what they have shared with the architect is feasible."

Fairland School District residents voted in the 4.01-mill levy at the Nov. 3 election. The levy will provide $4 million in a local match of $27 million in state funding to build a new high school and renovate the existing three school buildings.

The ground-breaking date remains uncertain at this time, McConnell said.

And, no work has been done to the proposed site located north of Fairland West Middle School, the current little league ballfield, yet.

"Currently, we’re surveying the site along with the other buildings," McConnell said. "They each will require new construction and we have to determine how much room we have. Until the surveying is complete, the actual on site plans aren’t available to us."

But the school district is moving steadily along in the project, McConnell said.

"We met with the Ohio School Facilities Commission recently and we are on the schedule that they would have us on," he said. "We take pride in accomplishing things one step at a time and doing that well."

Chesapeake School District also will be building new schools after voters passed a 3.51-mill levy at a special February election, said Fred Wood, Chesapeake superintendent.

The tax will raise $2.4 million in local funds to match state funds of $14.4 million to build a new middle school and renovate the current elementary and high schools, he said.

At the last board of education meeting, board members voted to hire Tanner as their architect.

Both school projects are still in the program of requirement phase, where they must meet state requirements, Tanner said.

And even though Chesapeake passed its levy later than Fairland, the two districts should only be about a month behind the other by June.

"We’re in that phase right now where we decide what spaces will be in the building," Tanner said. "We’re currently working on that and trying to stay within the square footages required by the state. In May, we’ll start the design of the Fairland schools and Chesapeake will fall about 30 days behind them."

Community input is always welcome concerning the new buildings, McConnell said.

Fairland Board of Education members meet at 7:30 p.m. the second Monday of each month at the board office and Chesapeake board members meet the third Monday of each month at 7:30 p.m. in the middle school library.