Marysville News

Work unfinished, but Marysville Early College High School will open on time

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The Marysville Early College High School will open its doors as planned in August, even though the linoleum needed for some floors is still on a ship coming from Europe and won't arrive until mid-September.

Craig Kertesz, senior project manager with Ruscilli Construction Co. Inc., which is the contractor for the project, told the Marysville Board of Education Thursday, July 17, that areas which have carpeting will be done and ceramic tiles have been installed in the bathrooms, but some of the classroom floors will be clean concrete until the linoleum can be installed.

"Our linoleum, which is a very good product to put in the schools, is not made in the United States," he said. "We wanted to pick a product that was going to last. We tried to find colors that really matched and the quantities that we need; we just weren't able to find it all in the United States."

Kertesz said the delay in shipment is "not we wanted, but it's better to get you the best product that's going to last."

The Ohio Hi Point Joint Vocational School District, Columbus State Community College, Honda of America Manufacturing, the Union County Chamber of Commerce and EDWorks are working with Marysville schools to create Ohio's first manufacturing-related STEM Early College High School in what was once Marysville Middle School at 833 N. Maple St.

A $12.4-million Straight A grant from the state of Ohio is funding the project.

The grant was awarded to the district in December 2013 with the condition the school would open in August 2014.

Ruscilli Construction has been renovating the building and bringing it up to code over the last seven months.

"Things are shaping up very well," Kertesz said. "We have no issues that we have identified that will keep us from opening at this point."

But the school will open in need of some finishing touches, including the flooring.

Construction crews also had to install 120,000 square feet of fire-suppressant piping above the ceilings that was not originally part of the plan and that will keep one area from opening on time, Kertesz said.

The building is broken down into four areas. Areas B, C and D include labs, science rooms, core academic spaces, the administrative area, the teachers' lounge and the student lounge.

Area A is dedicated to manufacturing spaces and the cafeteria. It will not be open until Sept. 15.

"Our plan has always been to bring food from the high school already prepared, so we will just shift the serving to another area in the building," high school Principal Kathy McKinniss said.

McKinniss said five full-time staff members are assigned to ECHS and another five will be shared with Marysville High School.

When the doors open Aug. 18, ECHS will welcome 147 freshmen.

McKinniss said 132 of those students attended a two-day summer "bridge program" at the end of June. As a way to introduce the students to the STEM teaching style, the students were divided into teams and had to complete a challenge.

Honda Marysville donated five cars for the two-day challenge and students had to take a "selfie" picture in front of one of the cars with their phones without the use of an app or a timer. Then they had to come up with a slogan and upload their work for teachers and parents to see.

"When we started this, I was a little afraid it would implode on us -- that not one kid could do it and they would be frustrated. But every group was successful," McKinniss said. "They were able to talk to people about it and they worked well together. It was challenging for them."

Students who were not able to attend the "bridge" session will take part in a mini-challenge from 9 to 11 a.m. Aug. 11, she said.

"It will look a little different, but we want to meet with every student before (school starts)," McKinniss said.

Teachers and administrative staff members will not be in the building until Aug. 14.

McKinniss said ECHS students won't get their schedules until Aug. 18, the first day of school.

"It will give us a chance to model flexibility," she said with a laugh. "We will be nimble and flexible together."

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