It turns out the South-Western City School District’s elementary school building project isn’t quite finished.
The district is planning the construction of an approximate 20,000-square-foot prekindergarten-4 school building on Holt Road, adjacent to Bolton Crossing Elementary School.
The school board agreed Oct. 23 to hire Schorr Architects to provide design services for the project at a cost of $298,700.
The board also authorized the advertisement for bids for a firm to serve as construction manager at risk for the project.
The construction manager at risk will plan, coordinate and manage all phases of construction.
The new building will house about 10 classrooms and be able to The construction manager at risk will plan, coordinate and manage all phases of construction.
The new building will house about 10 classrooms and be able to serve up to 250 students, Superintendent Bill Wise said.
“We continue to see increases in our preschool and elementary population and increases in the number of children with significant disabilities that we are serving,” he said. “That’s driving the need for this new building.”
It is still to be determined exactly what grade levels will be housed there and how many of the classrooms will be earmarked for students with disabilities, Wise said.
Enrollment increases over the last three years have outpaced projections, he said.
The district has about 22,082 students currently enrolled, said Sandy Nekoloff, director of communications.
The number of students increased by 563 in the 2015-16 school year, 404 students last year and by 460 this school year, Wise said.
“Approximately 300 of the 460 new students this year are elementary age,” he said.
The district’s preschool enrollment has increased 32 percent over the last five years, Nekoloff said.
The new building will help the district prepare for a potential influx of students that may come from residential development at the Beulah Park site, Wise said.
The site adjacent to Bolton Crossing was selected, in part, because the school’s boundary area would be most impacted by the Beulah Park development, he said.
It is also centrally located and would be able to serve multiple areas of the district, if needed, Wise said.
The 20,000-square-foot building being planned would be about one-third the size of Bolton Crossing, he said.
It will incorporate the same general features and technology used in the 13 new elementary school buildings the district built as part of its $260 million Ohio Facilities Construction Commission project, Wise said.
That project also included renovations to Buckeye Woods and Darby Woods elementary schools and construction of a new Franklin Heights High School.
It came in about 3.25 percent under budget, resulting in about $6.7 million in savings, he said.
That money will be able to fund the construction of the new school building, Wise said. Any leftover money would be used to pay for roof and asphalt repair work in the district.
The new school building would be expected to open in the 2019-20 school year, he said.
District officials will meet later this month with representatives from the OFCC to review initial findings from an evaluation of the South-Western’s five middle schools and Grove City and Westland high schools.
Those schools are being evaluated for a second phase OFCC project.
“Those are the schools in our district that were built prior to 1995 or were not renovated or replaced in the previous project,” Wise said.
The results from the evaluation are expected to be made public early next year, he said.