The Canal Winchester Times

Groveport Madison schools

Project will include gym, auditorium

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The Groveport Madison Board of Education voted unanimously last week to include a new gymnasium and auditorium in the project to build a new high school.

Board members have not yet decided how large the gym and auditorium will be.

Superintendent Bruce Hoover presented three options at the board's Aug. 27 meeting. He said the project has some limitations because most of the cost will have to paid from the $7 million in local match funding voters approved earlier this year.

Option 1, which the board rejected, would preserve the current gymnasium and auditorium as a standalone building. Hoover said this would be the least expensive of the three proposals, but even at $3.5 million, it did not include any renovations or upgrades.

"This will not renovate those spaces," he said. "It is only there to make that a standalone facility by adding ADA-compliant bathrooms and the necessary electrical and mechanical rooms, and walling it in.

"This doesn't mean new lights or carpet or anything, just bringing it up to code -- nothing more, nothing less."

Options 2 and 3 would raze the current gymnasium and auditorium space along with the rest of the high school, providing a "clean slate" for the architect and builders, Hoover said.

Specifically, option 2 would use $3.5 million in local funds, along with all of the co-funded options, to build a 14,000-square-foot main gymnasium, a 7,000-square-foot auxiliary gymnasium and a new auditorium with seating for 500-600.

This would approximately double the gymnasium space at the high school but the auditorium would be smaller than the current facility, which seats 700, Hoover said.

The only significant difference between option 2 and 3 is that option 3 would increase the size of the gymnasium to 10,000 square feet, creating additional seating and adding another full basketball court. The cost of option 3 could be as much as $4.5 million in local funds.

Ohio School Facilities Commission representative Kim Magovac explained that if the board voted to demolish the current gymnasium and auditorium building, it could wait until the design phase to choose between options 2 and 3, based on a clearer understanding of the budget.

"As I look for educational space, the band practice space should be behind the stage so they don't waste time moving equipment all over the building," Hoover said. "If you're going to an arts pathway, the students are going to need quick and easy access to that theater space for dance and acting courses.

"If we keep the current facility, I don't know how to get around that. If we talk about option 3, that's the best option for what we get but also the most expensive, and I don't want to take away classroom space only to think about athletics and the auditorium."

Board members won't decide between options 2 and 3 until after an architect is selected and more information is made available during the design phase.

A list of architects will be presented at the Sept. 10 board meeting, Hoover said, noting that he expects members to choose one.

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