Greenon likely to start construction on $50M school next year

Greenon Local wants to open its new $50 million school after winter break of the 2020-2021 school year.

The district held a community forum this week and spoke to residents about the timeline and goals for the new building and to give an update about what the district has been doing since voters passed the bond issue last May.

“We need to do our work throughout this year in order to give you guys a building solution that is right,” SHP Leading Design Architect Charlie Jahnigen said at the meeting. “Construction is really going to start taking off in 2019.”

MORE: Greenon to host public forum for new school building

Voters approved a $36 million bond issue 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.

School officials said they were able to save about $4 million by refinancing some of the bonds.

The new building will be constructed on the current site of the Indian Valley Intermediate School. Jahnigen said at the meeting the building will likely be two stories.

The construction will take about 20 months, he said.

“They can’t build it in 18 and they can’t build it in 16,” he said. “The company said they could do it in 20. It’s driven by time, it’s driven by manpower, material and labor.”

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 officials said they intend to divide the building and use scheduling tactics so that students of different ages won’t intermingle.

READ: Greenon still researching ideas for new K-12 school

Currently the district is in the schematic design phase, Jahnigen said. That phase is to set goals and requirements that Greenon wants in its new building, he said.

One of the next steps in the project is to conduct a traffic study, district officials said in on a social media post.

“There will be a traffic study to determine the traffic impact of the new building and then we have options such as separate drop-offs for cars and buses, widening the roads with the creation of turn lanes into the property and staggering start times to even out the traffic flow,” the post said. “We anticipate the traffic study will be conducted later this spring.”

District representatives visited other schools across Ohio to seek ideas for their new school, Greenon Superintendent Brad Silvus said. Silvus said they learned both what went well for those districts and what Greenon should avoid.

EXTRA: Greenon schools officials tour other sites for new building ideas

Input from the community is a top priority as the district plans for construction, Silvus said.

“We consider the community to be a vital part of the process of building a new school and look forward to working together to create a new facility that will be a source of pride for the entire district,” he said.

By the Numbers:

$36 million: Bond Greenon voters approved in 2017 for a new school

$18 million: Amount state will contribute to the new schools

$50 million: New total cost of the school after Greenon saved money refinancing bonds

Continuing Coverage

The Springfield News-Sun has provided the best coverage of the Greenon school building project, tracking developments every step of the way, including examining the state of the current buildings, attending community forums, talking to opponents and digging into what the new building might look like.

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