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Ironton school board to decide on architect

Ironton School Board members reviewed two architects’ qualifications this week, the final step before making a decision Monday.

Sunday, February 25, 2001

Ironton School Board members reviewed two architects’ qualifications this week, the final step before making a decision Monday.

Board members expect to decide then on the architect that will lead them forward in efforts to secure state funding for a renovated high school and new elementary schools.

Triad Architects Inc. and Fanning/Howey Associates Inc., both of Columbus, are vying for the position.

Board members say the key to the decision will be each firm’s qualifications in dealing with passage of a tax levy – required by the state to secure funding. For a few million from local taxes, state officials match with tens of millions.

Triad said it will provide brochures, pamphlets, help organize community meetings and organize a community-design approach where local residents have say in each phase of new school design.

Fanning/Howey also proposes brochures, flyers and help with organization of levy committees. They say the firm adopts a community engagement policy where the design and construction becomes a community-led project.

Board members have visited projects already underway with both firms, including historical renovations, and quizzed each about how levy campaigns are handled in economically depressed areas.

Whichever architect is chosen, the firm faces the immediate task of dealing with the Ohio Schools Facilities Commission (OSFC) and a master construction plan it requests from the district. The OSFC expects to hear from Ironton by the end of April.

Once a plan is adopted, it will be presented to the OSFC in May. The OSFC could make a final funding decision in June. Ironton is 17th on the construction funding list this year.

The district began planning for possible new schools in late summer 1999.

Preliminary plans outline the refurbishment of the high school and middle school and call for a new building to replace Whitwell, Kingsbury and West Ironton elementaries.