South-Western Subject Matter: Construction projects on time and on budget

Mark Meadows
South-Western City School District

There are five words that make anyone involved in a construction project happy: on time and on budget.

We are happy to let our community know that our middle school building projects currently are on time and on budget.

Mark Meadows

On Nov. 6, 2018, South-Western City School District voters approved a “no new millage” bond issue to replace the district’s four oldest middle schools (Brookpark, Finland, Norton, and Pleasant View), renovate and build a minor addition onto Jackson Middle School, renovate East Franklin Elementary School and complete some much-needed roofing at Grove City and Westland high schools and asphalt projects across the district.

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Residents told us they wanted the materials used in the replacement middle schools to be similar to those incorporated into the replacement elementary schools – traditional design with contemporary details. The windows will have a more contemporary style, and we are using tilt-up panels for a portion of the two-story construction.

Staff members were very innovative in the recommendations for the look inside the replacement middle schools. The buildings will have both large and small extended learning areas with eight breakout rooms that can hold up to 12 students for small-group instruction. Art-display cases will be placed throughout the building to spotlight the outstanding work of our students. Wide hallways will help with congestion issues between classes. The modern media centers will feature breakout rooms and will mirror the look and feel of a public library.

If you drive by any of the four replacement middle school locations, you will see completed reinforced slab work and the tilt-up walls installed. Concrete and underground electrical work also has been completed. 

The East Franklin Elementary School renovations will be completed this summer with the delivery and installation of new furniture. East Franklin will have the same furniture as the other 15 elementary schools to start the 2021-22 school year.

We had good participation in the Jackson Middle School project bidding process, which helped us to keep costs down. Construction will begin this summer. There will be a classroom addition, a multipurpose addition and increased seating capacity in the gymnasium. There also will be a covered walkway from the school bus drop-off area to the building. The materials will match those used in the original building.

If you haven’t already done so, watch the school board presentation on our YouTube channel (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3CRLaKG1zeY) and follow our Facebook photo albums for additional construction pictures. 

Times have changed since the original schools were built. New school safety and security systems, air conditioning, technology, science labs and specialized instructional spaces will help our schools and our community continue to grow and attract families and businesses that value education.

Mark Meadows is the property-services supervisor for the South-Western City School District.