• 72°

Design plans reviewed for proposed school renovations

DEERING--The architectural firm Tanner Stone & Company, of Portsmouth, presented conceptual plans for the renovation of Deering Elementary School Thursday in a meeting in the school cafeteria.

&uot;This was an opportunity to meet with the community, teachers and staff and say, here are the facts, this is where we stand,&uot; Superintendent James Payne, said.

Architect Mark Tanner displayed three separate designs. The third is what they consider the best option. The proposed plan would increase the square footage from 56,000 to 78,000.

&uot;This plan has more merits with safety, security, functionality and cost,&uot; Tanner said. &uot;This is by far the safest way to design this building.&uot;

The Ohio School Facilities Commission set requirements and sent an assesment team in 2000.

Their recomendation was to tear down everything except for the three-story classroom wing and gym.

The proposed plan would accomodate 675 kids and have the library, gym, cafeteria, offices, and kindergarten classes located on the first floor. The second and third floors would be primarily classrooms for the other grades.

Five classrooms will be available for each grade level. Kindergarten and pre-kindergarten would have seven classrooms available.

Restrooms and teacher workrooms would be located on each floor. Currently, restrooms are not on every floor, Payne said.

&uot;The third plan just simply made sense,&uot; he said.

For safety reason, parking and traffic are a primary concern. The new design would accomodate 14 buses.

&uot;[The plan] seperates buses from cars,&uot; John Goldcamp, transportation director, said. &uot;If we can get a stoplight on County Road 6,[the plan] is beautiful. It is the best I have seen yet.&uot;

One potential roadblock is that property west of the school would have to be acquired. The Molter family, who currently owns the land, is reluctant to sell.

&uot;They were invited in February to discuss it and I understand their unwillingness to sale,&uot; Payne said. &uot;This is simply the best plan for the kids--now and in the future.&uot;

The Facilities Commission has named BBL Construction Services, of Columbus, as the construction manager. They have worked on schools in Chesapeake,

Fairland and Symmes Valley.

Work is expected to begin sometime in 2003 but this is very tentaive, Payne said.

More meetings will take place to work out the details and allow for more community input. Michael Caldwell/The Ironton Tribune