Construction is underway at the West Liberty-Salem Local School District. Over the last 15 years, many school districts in the state of Ohio have undergone building projects funded in part by both local and state tax dollars. These projects, done in partnership with the Ohio Facility Construction Commission (OFCC), are extensive and require a large commitment from the board of education, community, and staff to ensure that the project meets the priorities and goals of the community. For West Liberty-Salem, the process most recently began in the spring of 2010.
Community involvement was essential to the success of the design the West Liberty-Salem building project. The district set out first to find a solution that met district priorities on how to meet many facility and educational needs of the district. From these discussions, it became apparent that renovating the current West Liberty-Salem K-12 building would make the best use of the community’s resources. Focus for the project included many practical goals to help maintain the building. This included replacing the roof and windows, upgrading water and electric systems, and improving many other structural components of the building. The pre-K-12 building will also upgrade heating and air conditioning by installing a new multi-stage, geo-thermal HVAC system.
There were also many educational goals set during the planning phase. A new Science Center was added to the building that provides modern science classroom resources and space for future science and technology career and workforce development courses. Another priority for the district was to upgrade our wireless and network infrastructure to support and expand our 21st century technology programming. In 2013, the district began a one-to-one district iPad program at the high school. In 2017, when the project is complete, the district plans to expand this program to additional grade levels.
The $30 million new construction and complete renovation of the current pre-kindergarten through grade 12 building started last March and is scheduled to be complete in the spring of 2017. The project will be conducted over six phases and while the building is being occupied by students and staff. When complete, the building will have the latest security and emergency response systems. Along with building renovations, the school site will receive extensive updates to improve traffic congestion and pedestrian safety. This includes a new second drive to US 68 and new parent drop off, bus drop off, and new rear connecting drive behind the building, scheduled for the summer of 2016.
When presented with the challenge of maintaining our schools, The West Liberty-Salem community chose to continue to invest in our school district. This community support and high expectations for all that we do are what continue to make West Liberty-Salem an excellent school district in the state of Ohio.