Construction could begin as early as this December on one of the two new school buildings in Northeastern Local School District.
Work on the second building will likely start shortly after in early 2020, the lead architect on the project said.
Mike Ruetschle, lead architect with Ruetschle Architects, said the Northeastern school site is slightly more ahead in the planning process compared to the Kenton Ridge school site.
“We see construction on this site (Northeastern) happening late this year 2019,” Ruetschle said. “We expect construction to be complete by the end of 2021/2022, with a winter break move in.”
According to Ruetschle’s construction timeline, the Kenton Ridge school site will begin construction in early 2020 with students slated to move in at the start of the 2022/2023 school year.
One campus will be adjacent to the current South Vienna school and will be Northeastern PreK-12, the second campus will be located on the property near the current Kenton Ridge High School and will be Kenton Ridge PreK-12.
Funding for the schools will come from local and state money. Voters approved a 37-year, $79 million bond issue in May 2018 by a margin of 56 percent to 44 percent. In addition to the bond, the state will contribute another $41 million to the project through the Ohio Facilities Construction Commission, bringing the total cost of the two schools to $120 million.
Because planning is further along for the Northeastern school, the public was able to see floor plans and a virtual walk through of the school during a meeting Wednesday evening.
The school will be split into three multi-story buildings. The first building will be located to the left of the center building and will host PreK-6 graders, as well as other classrooms. Grades PreK-3 will be on the first floor and the rest will be on the second floor.
The second building will be located in the middle of the complex and will house two gyms, student dinning, a kitchen, locker room, music rooms and other elective’s.
The third building, located to the right of the center building, will house 7th and 8th graders on the first floor with high school students on the second.
The buildings will be connected by a lobby and media center.
Northeastern Local School District Superintendent John Kronour said the community has been important in deciding the floor plans of the schools.
“We want to make sure we are going to deliver what the community wants,” Kronour said. “They paid for them. We want to make sure that these school last for years, because they will stand long after teachers that are teaching here now are gone, long after current students are gone.”
Kronour said that overall the reception to the school plans has been positive.
“We have definitely seen some pros and some cons to site selection, specifically with athletic facilities being split,” Kronour said.
Some athletic fields, like soccer, will be at the new Northeastern School, while football and baseball fields will continue to be located at the current Northeastern High School.
“But we are doing our best to work with the community and have an outcome that everyone can be happy with,” Kronour said.
The future of the current school buildings is up in the air. The district has discussed everything from demolition to making the areas public parks to selling land to developers, once construction on the new schools is complete, however nothing is set in stone.
Kronour urges community members that have any ideas for either of the new school sites or would like to give input on site plans, they can contact the district at nelsd.org.
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