Fairland project on schedule

Published 12:00 am Friday, March 30, 2001

PROCTORVILLE – If all goes according to plans, Fairland High School students may be moving into the new facility by January 2002.

Friday, March 30, 2001

PROCTORVILLE – If all goes according to plans, Fairland High School students may be moving into the new facility by January 2002.

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Fairland superintendent Jerry McConnell said construction has run smoothly since site preparation work kicked off in June of last year. McConnell hopes that the school will be ready for students when they return from Christmas vacation.

"We’re working on a very aggressive schedule," McConnell said. He added, "we have excellent contractors and management team working towards this goal."

The new high school is being built on 17 acres of land owned by the school board since the mid-1970s. The board also purchased an additional 1-acre plot of land that will serve as the entrance to the new facility. The new facility will be about 106,000 square-feet, a little over double the current high school’s size. McConnell said the size of the current building, about 49,000 square feet, has always been an issue because the school has been limited to the curriculum it can offer because of room. With the increased room in the new high school, McConnell said the school could offer more programs in turn, expanding the curriculum.

The school district’s projects are funded in part by $27 million from the state and in part by $4 million contributed by local taxpayers. The money collected from the taxpayers comes from a maintenance levy passed by citizens in 1998. McConnell said the maintenance levy passed by 65 percent. He said, "we feel that’s a message and we took the message very seriously."

About $13.5 million will go toward building the new high school and $7 million will go to renovations and construction of the current Fairland High School; $5 million going to Fairland East and $5 million going to Fairland West. The monies for these schools will go to construction and renovation projects. McConnell said the latest information given to the school board by the construction manager shows the cost of construction staying within the budgets.

The school district plans to keep the current buildings in use.

Once the new high school is built, the current high school will become the middle school for students 6-8; Fairland West, which is currently the middle school, will house students in grades 3-5; and the current elementary, Fairland East, will only house students in kindergarten through second grade.

Currently, the new high school and projects at Fairland East are the only projects in the works. McConnell said construction on the existing high school and Fairland East will begin sometime after the new school is completed. McConnell said the new facility and the construction on the existing structures are not only being built for current students, but, for the future.

He said, "This project is student driven-present students and students in the future. This projects reflects how we can serve them."