Forum a chance to weigh in on plans for $54M new Greenon school

Greenon Local Schools will host a community forum this month so residents can learn more about the process the district will use to build its $54 million new school.

Superintendent Brad Silvus said the district has been hard at work preparing for construction. The forum will be held at Indian Valley Intermediate School on Sept. 20 starting at 6:30 p.m.

RELATED: Greenon bond issue election results

“We are just trying to bring everybody up to speed in terms of information and what we have done through the summer,” Greenon school board President Dennis Henry said. “We have visited other schools. We have done a lot of regulations assessment with the state to get the matching funds. We still have to pick an architect before we start talking about the design.”

District leaders still aren’t sure when the school will break ground. The school should be ready to go by the 2021 school year, Henry said, but he hopes it’s done earlier and opens for the 2020 school year.

“We can tell you that we will do our part to help the process move quickly and still meet your expectations for the future of Greenon schools,” a statement from the Greenon school board members says.

The school board still needs to take a few more steps before having a concrete date, Silvus said.

“We are working with the state to schedule interviews for architects, followed by the construction manager,” Silvus said. “Once those are set up, we will be able to work with those partners to establish time lines.”

Voters approved a $36 million bond issue May 2 to build a new pre-k through 12th-grade school by about 500 votes. The 6.98-mill bond will cost a taxpayer who owns a $100,000 property in the district a little more than $20 a month. The state will pick up $18 million of the costs through the Ohio Facilities Construction Commission.

The new building will be built on the current Indian Valley Intermediate School campus. Indian Valley will remain open during construction but will close once the new school opens, as will Enon Primary and Greenon High School. The new school will be for all students in the district but will be divided so that students of different ages won’t intermingle.

MORE: Clark County: How safe are your schools?

District leaders, parents and residents went on two trips this summer to tour new schools at other districts and learn what works well at them. That included Milton-Union Local, Ridgemont Local, Franklin Monroe and Monroe districts.

During school forums held by the district last year, board members told residents that they planned to hold more forums and meetings with the public so they can help design the new school. The event Sept. 20 will be one of those times, Silvus said.

“We are having an open house on Sept. 20 at Indian Valley to update the community about school tours, educational visioning and answer questions,” he said.

District parent Malissa Laugle told the Springfield News-Sun she was relieved when she learned the bond passed. She said the schools at Greenon are in need of being replaced and that officials have had to spend thousands of dollars on Band-Aides to repair issues at the schools. She hopes the district will take future money that would have gone to building repairs and put it toward education.

“No. 1, it will be safer and it will be structurally sound,” Laugle said of the new school. “They will also be able to have better technology and students will be better prepared for today’s jobs.”

PREVIOUS REPORTING: Greenon leaders want to build one new school for all of district

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