New $95M ‘showcase’ Fairborn High School nearing completion

Credit: Jim Noelker

Credit: Jim Noelker

Fairborn school district officials are looking to finish work on the new high school by the end of this month.

The project, estimated at $95 million, is more than 90% done at the 214,000 square foot facility on Commerce Center Boulevard near Interstate 675, said Jeff Patrick, Fairborn’s business operations director.

May 31 is the district’s “substantial completion date,” he said.

Credit: Jim Noelker

Credit: Jim Noelker

“That means all safety inspections have been completed and passed, which means then we officially start to move into that building” the following week,” Patrick added. “If everything stays on track, I expect that we would meet that.”

Safety inspectors have been on site and some new furniture has been moved to the school, “an enormous site” with three wings, about 60 classrooms, a 1,000-seat performing arts center, an arena that seats 2,100 and an auxiliary gym, he said.

Aug. 15 is Fairborn’s first day for staff while classes are set to start Aug. 23 for students in grades 1-12, according to the district. A dedication ceremony is scheduled for July 17.

“It will be really a showcase high school in the Miami Valley area,” Fairborn Mayor Dan Kirkpatrick said. “It’s really a fantastic thing.”

Voters approved a 5.83-mill bond issue in 2020 to pay for the new high school, arts center and athletics complex in conjunction with the Ohio Facilities Construction Commission funding.

Once estimated to cost $70 million, the price of the project grew to $82 million due to inflation, officials have said.

Credit: Jim Noelker

Credit: Jim Noelker

The school district scaled the project back, putting some athletic facilities like — softball fields, baseball fields and tennis courts on hold.

Those plans were reinstated after voters approved a 34-year bond issue in the spring of 2023. Last fall, the school board voted to add a $3 million indoor multi-sport facility that was also postponed due to increasing costs.

The 11,000 square foot site will be built between the home stands and the fieldhouse, separate from the new high school, Fairborn Treasurer Kevin Philo has said. That facility is not expected to be finished until this fall, Patrick said.

School district officials said tax issue approved last spring would generate about $24.6 million and money not spent on the new high school will be used to fund a new middle school.

It will be built on Commerce Center south of the new high school, according to the district.

That school will be closest to the new high school’s academic wing, a two-story section. The middle of the new high school includes administrative offices and a performing arts area, Patrick said. Band, orchestra and choir classrooms are in this section, along with the performing arts center, he said.

Furthest north is the arena and the auxiliary gym, according to Patrick.

About the Author