Clark-Shawnee superintendent: School construction, renovations coming together quickly

Construction and renovations at the Clark-Shawnee Local School District site are going fast and are on track to be completed on time, according to the district’s superintendent.

In a video about the school’s construction progress on Clark-Shawnee’s Facebook page, Superintendent Brian Kuhn said work on the elementary school is coming together quickly.

“It is getting to look more and more like a school building every day. It’s going fast,” Kuhn said. “It’s all coming together quickly.”

The parts of the elementary school that is coming together include the main entrance and office of the building, two-story classroom pods and the roof.

“Roofing is going on; you can see up top they’ve got roofing material on the base. The deck got put on, so they now have to add all the layers,” Kuhn said.

Kuhn said through this project, they were able to add a metal roof.

“That metal roof is going to last a long, long time, and we don’t have to deal with replacing shingles or worrying about those, so we’re excited that we get to do a metal roof,” he said.

Kuhn added that other work going on at the elementary includes the gym and masonry work.

“The gym is now dried up... They’re getting it to the point where it’s under roof and they can do work inside because it will keep water from coming in,” he said.

Kuhn said the middle and high school north gym and stage renovations are “pretty amazing.”

“If you remember the north gym, it did not look this bright, the floor did not look this beautiful, the seating was certainly not as comfy and reliable. We got new bleachers, new paint, refinished floor and new paint on the floor,” he said. “The stage has been updated with new lighting, painted flooring, painted background so when we do plays and performances here, when we can do those again, we’re going to have an appropriate place to do that.”

Kuhn added that the gym also has new seating on the visitor’s side, a storage room for PE equipment and a new scoreboard.

Along with the renovated gym, the cafeteria renovations are also ongoing with new kitchen equipment with a bigger space and new seating options.

“The space that our cooking staff had to operate out of before was but a fraction in what they have now,” Kuhn said. “Some new seating options. You’ve got high top tables and chairs and there’s also some booth seating that’s available.”

Kuhn mentioned that there are also blue X’s on the tables so that the district can ensure social distancing during lunches.

The building is down to the last few spaces that need to be renovated including the south gym and the locker rooms, which Kuhn said are set to be done and completed in early November.

“Once they are complete, we will have a fully renovated high school/middle school building and all the focus will then move into the elementary school where it’s going up quickly and in amazing fashion,” Kuhn said.

The elementary building is still on target to open for the start of the next school year, Kuhn said. The middle/high school renovations are expected to be completed by the fall of 2021.

The school is being built across the street from Shawnee High School.

The open house for the middle/high school that was scheduled in March was also postponed to a later date yet to be determined after recommendations from the Clark County Combined Health District, Ohio Department of Health and Governor Mike DeWine regarding large gatherings.

Clark-Shawnee held a groundbreaking ceremony in October 2018 to kick off construction of their $52 million pre-K through sixth-grade school building.

Voters approved a $37 million bond issue in August 2017 to build a new elementary school and renovate the middle/high school. The bond issue was for 5.3 mills for 37 years and will cost the owner of a $100,000 home a little more than $15 a month. The state will cover about $15 million of the cost of the project.

Continuing coverage

The Springfield News-Sun has provided continuous coverage of school building construction projects, tracking monthly developments, including examining the state of the current buildings, attending community forums and digging into what the new building and renovations might look like.

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