The Canal Winchester Board of Education got a taste Nov. 20 of how three additions will look on the exterior of the high school and how space inside the building will be "reprogrammed."

The work is part of a $23.5 million renovation to add more than 42,000 square feet of space to the school. The project has been approved by the Ohio Schools Facilities Commission and the State Controlling Board.

State money will cover 80 percent of the costs, which amounts to $18.8 million. District officials opted not to seek voter approval of a tax levy or bond issue to pay for the remaining costs. Instead, the district's $4.7 million share is coming from its general fund.

The project marks the third time Canal Winchester High School has been renovated or expanded. Previous updates occurred in 1993 and 2003.

Mike Dingeldein of Community Design Alliance in Hamilton, who is working with Schorr Architects Inc. of Dublin on the high school project, said he's very pleased with the way the new addition blends with the existing structure.

"I'm glad to report that it is going to be very logical, very functional as a teaching and learning space, even though it took four different additions to get to this point," he told board members.

Dingeldein said the design and construction team has been working with teachers, staff and administrators to determine the needs that need to be addressed at the high school.

He said they are also trying to make sure all the additions function as a whole by "making sure the roof works together, making sure the water drains and not disrupting underground utilities more than you have to."

Some of the more noticeable changes to the building will include gutting what is now the office area to fix what Dingeldein identified as "the biggest problem with this building: the bottleneck of traffic between the additions."

The office will be moved to where the media center is now to create a new secure front entrance, he said.

A new media center will be built and a bathroom will be added on the second floor. In addition, two project labs will be built on each floor and three large blended learning labs will be added to the building to provide flexible space.

If student population growth in the district exceeds state estimates, this flexible space will be a real bonus, according to Dingeldein.

Tony Schorr of Schorr Architects said the additions are within the 42,503 square feet of space the state approved for the project.

"We are 168 square foot under that," he said.

The design was submitted to the Ohio Facilities Construction Commission on Dec. 4. Preliminary work on the high school is expected to begin next summer with construction to start in October 2018.

Schorr said the construction team estimates the work will be completed by the end of 2019.

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