Harrison County residents get glimpse at new $53 million centralized school

CADIZ Harrison County residents got a first glimpse last week at what their new $53 million centralized school will potentially look like.

At a community meeting Thursday, architect Greg Galieti of SHP Leading Design of Columbus, provided details on the interior, exterior and grounds of the facility. About 35 people were present, including parents, political leaders, students, teachers, bus drivers and retirees.

Schools Superintendent Dana Snider stressed that the school is still in the planning stages, so things could change between now and when the building opens to students in August 2019.

In 2015, residents of the Harrison Hills City School District approved a 4.98-mill levy to build a new school south of Cadiz which will house students from pre-kindergarten through 12th grade. The 190,000-square-foot facility will be constructed on a 50-acre tract between state Route 9 and Country Club Road.

The Ohio Facilities Construction Commission will pay 56 percent of expenses allowable by the state. The commission does not pay for such things as the building’s auditorium, which will be paid for by taxpayers.

According to the superintendent, Galieti discussed some of the safety features of the building. Buses will drop off students at the back of the school, while parents and staff members will use the front. People will be able to gain access using a proposed road that will connect Route 9 with Country Club Road.

Earth tones will dominate in the look of the school. “We will have brick that looks like the earth because we’re a coal-mining area,” Snider said. The architect is also considering using accents of blue, since blue is one of the school colors.

The facility will have separate wings for high school students, middle school students and elementary students. In the elementary wing, the classrooms will have doors opening into other rooms so that staff members can team teach, she said. Each wing will also have its own art and music areas.

Each wing will also have extended learning rooms. Groups can meet in hall areas that have relaxed furniture and technology, she said.

The cafeteria will be divided into high school and elementary school sections with a hallway in between and separate entrances. But both sides can be used for larger events, such as a prom or community function, she said. “That will allow enormous amounts of seating.”

The facility will have two gymnasiums – a 1,440-seat gym for the high school and a 240-seat gym for the middle school.

Snider said the John Stevenson facility at the current high school will also be retained. “It will be an auxiliary gymnasium. Right now, we have to stagger practices. This would give us three places to practice.”

The new auditorium would seat 814 people.

Site work is expected to begin in April 2017 and construction on the facility will begin between the middle of April and the middle of June, Snider said.

“There’s a lot of site work to do, because some of the ground has been stripped for coal decades ago,” she said. “We need to do dynamic compaction on the entire site.”

Dynamic compaction, a method of pushing the earth so there are no gaps, was used in construction of the MarkWest Energy building in the nearby Cadiz Industrial Park.

Snider said residents are looking forward to the new facility.

“It’s a wonderful addition to Harrison County and for the students,” she said. “We’re very thankful to the voters.”

From Times Reporter.com