South Point schools making progress

Published 12:00 am Thursday, June 29, 2006

SOUTH POINT — Construction of the new South Point middle and high schools is on schedule, in fact, the evidence of its progress can be seen from U.S. 52.

All of the footers are poured for the two schools, which are separate but adjoining buildings on County Road 60. The floors for the high school are slated to be poured this week and much of the masonry work has already begun on the gym walls.

Herb Young, construction consultant for the project, said the “bricks should start flying” in the upcoming weeks.

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“Things are really moving along quite well,” he said.

“The contractors are all working well together and that has really expedited the construction process,” Young said.

An approximately 5-foot-by-7-foot “mock- up wall” has been constructed at the site as an example of what the brick colors and some of the design aspects of the school will look like, Young said.

The new schools are slated to open at the beginning of the 2007-08 school year. Young said construction is slightly ahead of schedule at this point.

The high school and middle schools — which will take up about 30 acres of the 84 acres owned by the district at the site — will be the first to be constructed, but plans are to replace all four schools in the district, with a total price tag of $42 million.

Because of a lack of space at its current location, South Point Elementary will be built on the grounds of the current high school and middle school buildings, which will be torn down once the new ones are built.

The new Burlington Elementary will be built at its current site.

A new athletic complex — which will cost about $2.5 million — is also in the works at the site, as most of the bids for that project have been awarded. The complex will include a new turf football field, bleachers, an eight-lane running track and locker rooms, among other amenities, Young said.

The new schools will have a special neighbor to protect them and others in the area, one that has been a mainstay in the community for many decades.

The Ohio State Highway Patrol has announced plans to construct a new post on approximately 5 acres of land near the site of the new schools. The land was donated by the school district.

Currently, the post is located in a small brick building — about 1,500-square-feet — near Highlands Memorial Gardens.

Lt. Mike Gore said the post’s 22 employees are looking forward to moving into a building more than three times the size of its current one.

“We really outgrew this building about 10 years ago,” Gore said. “So, it’s definitely something we needed. Also, this keeps us in South Point.”

The OSHP had looked at several other locations in the area before receiving the land from the school board.

Gore said nearly $2 million has been approved by the Ohio state legislature for the construction of the new post, but there is still a lot of work to be done before ground can be broken for the project. In fact, he said, much of the paperwork needed for the project has yet to be completed.