West Side News

SWCS Board of Education

OSFC project on target for spring construction

By ThisWeek Community News  • 

Schematic designs for the South-Western City Schools' Ohio School Facilities Commission OSFC) project were scheduled to be submitted to the state on Sept. 11.

The project remains on target for a groundbreaking sometime in the spring, Mike Dingeldein of SHP Leading Design, the project's architect, told school board members Sept. 10.

Dingeldein presented the board with a progress report on the project.

"The schematic design is a milestone, but it's not a completion point,"he said. "We're at a place where we can explain our intent to the OSFC."

The $250-million project involves replacing 13 elementary school buildings; replacing Franklin Heights High School; combining Finland and East Franklin elementary schools into one building and minor renovations and technology upgrades to Buckeye Woods and Darby Woods elementary schools.

Through the OSFC, the state will be paying half the cost.

Seven of the new schools will be built to accommodate up to 600 students, four will accommodate 520 students and two will have a capacity for 399 students, he said.

Under a conceptual plan that will be submitted to the OFSC for its approval, most of the new school buildings would be considered as "build-move" sites, meaning they are large enough to allow the current school to operate while construction of the new building is completed, Dingeldein said. Students at those schools would remain in place during construction.

Three of the schools -- Harmon, Prairie Norton and Monterey -- would be considered "swing" sites, he said. Like the "build-move" sites, they are large enough to accommodate both the current school building and the new building.

Once the new schools are built at these sites, the older buildings would remain in place for one year to house students from three "swing-off" sites, Dingeldein said.

The "swing-off" schools -- Richland Avenue, Prairie Lincoln and West Franklin -- are located on sites too cramped to allow the current buildings to operate during construction of the new schools, he said.

During the year their new schools are being built, Richland Avenue students would be housed in the old Monterey Elementary, Prairie Lincoln students would attend the old Prairie Norton and West Franklin students would be placed in the old Harmon Elementary building, Dingeldein said.

A kit of common building "parts" has been assembled to use as best fits each site, he said. The different sites will be the same size and comprise the same type buildings, but they will be arranged in various ways best use the specific site where they will be built.

The final proposed design details will be submitted in November to the OFSC for its approval, he said.

The plan is for the new school buildings to feature traditional materials and contemporary design elements, reflecting the preferences indicated by a majority of community members, Dingeldein said.

The proposed heights for the elementary buildings will be 40 feet, he said.

Because Grove City has a 35-foot height limit, a variance would be needed for the buildings located in Grove City, Dingeldein said.

Dingeldein said he will provide proposed design details for each building in a presentation he will give at the board's first meeting in October.

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