Grove City Record

Logistics of Franklin Heights construction laid out

Several things to be completed before classes resume this fall


The South-Western City School District has a plan in place for maintaining classes and activities at Franklin Heights High School next school year while a new building is constructed.

The plan was reviewed at the May 20 school board meeting by Todd Thackery of the SHP Leading Design architectural firm and FHHS Athletic Director Matt Parrill.

It's a question of "how to build this building and keep the existing building occupied, activities ongoing and students safe," Thackery said.

Demolition work will be completed this summer "so that before kids come back in the fall, the logistics and some modifications will be in place to keep the messy things out of the way and have a segregation between the construction area and the student area," he said.

To keep them away from the construction, students will walk along a path extending from the exits on the south side of the existing building from the music and gym areas that will bring them around to the west end of the building, Thackery said.

When students return in the fall, the following work is expected to have been completed:

* The existing softball field and structures will have been removed. A new bus drop-off and pick-up area will be located in this space, as will a gravel lot where buses will be parked after the school day.

* Demolition of the wrestling room that is currently connected to the high school.

* Removal of the long jump and pole vault area at the east end of the stadium, with relocation to the north end of the stadium.

* Removal of the canopy entrance into the Falcon's Nest recreation center.

* Removal of the soccer fields.

* The future location for the tennis courts (along the west side of the drive to West Franklin Elementary School) will be graveled and become a temporary student parking lot.

The new school building will be constructed in an area immediately south of the existing school, Thackery said.

Eventually, the existing school building will be demolished and a new marching band practice field will be constructed north of the music wing. A new soccer stadium will be constructed north of the building, up to and including where the tennis courts are now located, he said.

The junior varsity/freshman baseball field will remain approximately in its same location and the drive to the new West Franklin Elementary School will be farther away than the current access, Thackery said.

The football practice field, stadium and varsity baseball field will stay where they are, he said. New softball fields will be constructed to the south of the new school building.

While the new school is under construction and temporary relocations of various facilities occur, some FHHS athletic activities will require adjustments, Parrill said.

The football program and baseball and tennis teams will be unaffected throughout the process, he said.

Activities that will need to make adjustments during the construction period are:

* The marching band will hold drills and weekly practice at the stadium.

* Softball practices and games will be moved to the Harmon Elementary School fields.

* Boys and girls soccer games will be held at the stadium. The girls team will practice in the varsity baseball outfield and the boys will practice in the JV/freshman baseball field.

* Wrestling practices and matches will be held in the Falcon's Nest recreation center.

The recreation center will be closed to the community throughout the construction period, but members will be able to use the Grove City and Westland locations at their convenience, Parrill said.