According to Enon Primary Principal Darrin Knapke, the school’s all purpose room, which acts as a gymnasium, caffeteria and meeting room can be a problem. Bill Lackey/Staff

Greenon leaders to tour schools ahead of $54M construction project

Greenon leaders will tour several schools across Ohio this summer in preparation of building a new school in the district.

Residents will get a chance to voice their opinions about the new school’s designs and features at forums that will be scheduled closer to the start of the 2017-2018 school year, Superintendent Brad Silvus said. Greenon leaders met earlier this month with state officials from the Ohio Facilities Construction Commission to discuss the next steps to build the new school.

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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 an additional $18 million of the costs.

The district has more than 1,570 students.

To ensure a new school, the state still needs to approve the funding it promised the district, which all indications point to happening in July.

“The next steps include the OFCC approving us on July 13, that’s the final approval, then they will release the funds on Aug. 7,” Silvus said.

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During the recent meeting with local leaders, the state construction commission appointed a project manager. The manager will help district leaders throughout the building process.

Though district leaders can’t do much until the money is approved, over the summer they plan on starting to make final plans for what they want in the new school.

“What we are going to be looking for is what we want for our building,” Silvus said. “Sometimes it is easier to see what it can look like by seeing what is already out there.”

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A ground breaking date hasn’t been set, Silvus said, and the district has a lot of work ahead of it before actually building the new school.

“It’s real far down the road at this point,” he said. “We need to go through all the design process. Once we get all the approvals and funding, then we can start figuring out dates to start building.”

Conservative estimates put the school’s opening at the beginning of the 2021-2022 school year but it might not take that long, Greenon board of education members said in a statement.

“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,” the board of education said in a statement.

The district also needs to hire an architect that will actually build the final building. SHP Leading Design helped the school create a rough draft of what the building could look like, but the final project will require them and other businesses to bid.

Greenon doesn’t have to hire the lowest bid, Silvus said, and can also take other factors into consideration when making the final choice.

After the money is received and school starts in the fall, he said the district will turn to its residents to help design the new school.

“Once we get into the design phase there will be a lot of opportunities to get involved,” he said.

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