Enon Primary School Principal Darrin Knapke in the school’s small library that’s in a classroom. Bill Lackey/Staff

Greenon starts planning $54M new school after bond issue passes

Greenon district leaders will meet with state officials Thursday to discuss plans to construct a new $54 million school.

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.

RELATED: Greenon bond issue election results

School administrators have been meeting throughout the week to prepare for their Thursday meeting with the construction commission. Greenon Superintendent Brad Silvus said he hopes to set a tentative timeline for the construction process after the meeting.

“My understanding is that they will discuss the time lines for moving forward and begin setting the next steps,” Silvus said. “This will likely include the assignment of the project manager from OFCC.”

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

Conservative estimates put the school’s opening at the beginning of the 2021-2022 school year, but it may 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 statement says.

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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.

Some parents who have students in the district took to social media to celebrate the bond’s passing. Malissa Laugle told the Springfield News-Sun she was relieved when she learned it passed.

“I was actually nervous given that it hadn’t passed the last two times,” she said. “I was nervous and concerned that it might not passed, but I was relieved and excited.”

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 said she hopes the district will take future money that would have gone to buildings and put it toward education.

“No. 1, it will be safer and it will 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

The board of education applauded residents for approving the bond issue in a statement after its passing.

“The Board of Education and administration thank the community for their support for our district and investment in excellent schools for our students … We look forward to working with all community members to design the future of Greenon Local Schools,” the statement says.

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