Southeastern Local Schools in South Charleston would like to start construction on a new gymnasium at its elementary school soon, its superintendent said.
“The goal is to get it done by next winter,” Superintendent David Shea said. “That means we need to start construction in the spring.”
To do so, the school is working with the Ohio Educational Purchasing Council and the National Joint Powers Alliance to get a contractor. Both organizations assist government agencies with finding contractors.
The board also recently listened to three representatives from construction companies during a board meeting to see what their ideas would be if they were selected to build the gym.
Because the process is ongoing, Shea said he didn’t want to estimate the cost of the building.The price will be disclosed before construction starts, he said. The school won’t go to taxpayers to seek a tax increase to pay for it, Shea said, but instead will use money in the general fund.
The new gymnasium will be about 20,000 square feet. It would include a full-sized basketball court, side-by-side volleyball practice courts, a two-lane track and a separate wrestling room.
The wrestling program deserves a better spot to compete in, Shea said. Right now the team is in the track building.
“It’s big enough but we would like a little nicer facility for them,” he said.
The building wouldn’t just be for the wrestling team however, Shea said. Miami View Students are often relegated back to their classrooms for indoor recesses when the weather is bad because the current gymnasium is already being used for class, he said. Kids need time to burn energy off so they can focus on school work, he said.
Southeastern Board President Tony Entler previously said the project can help the schools and the community. Right now, it’s not uncommon for young players to finish basketball practice late in the evenings because the school’s gym must be used first by high school and junior high team players. That presents problems for students and their parents, he said.
“You have some kids not coming home until 9 or 9:30 p.m. in the dead of winter,” Entler said. “That is not safe.”
He hopes to allow residents to use the new building.
“It’s not just a gym,” Entler said. “We’ve talked about selecting some community members, and after a background check, letting them open the building up in the mornings so the community can use it also. That way we can get the most out of it.”
Although the school is waiting on the final plans from the purchasing council and the powers alliance, the school has moved forward and looked into the possibility of building the gym on land right outside Miami Valley Elementary School. Shea said the school found some issues that forced them to rethink the design.
“We’ve done some surveying and it will be a little more rectangle in design to make it better for the space,” Shea said. “It will still be in the same area that was originally planned, but there is a drain pipe that we don’t want to have to reroute.”
Those with questions about the new gym may contact Shea at 937-462-8364.