New Northeastern school building to open this fall, ribbon cutting planned

The construction for the two new school building remains on schedule.

Credit: Bill Lackey

Credit: Bill Lackey

Construction of two new Northeastern Local School District pre-K-12 school buildings are on track, as one of the buildings is expected to open in time for the upcoming academic year, officials said Wednesday.

A dedication and ribbon cutting ceremony are scheduled for Aug. 20 for the new Northeastern Pre-K through 12th grade school building from 2 to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 20.

The district is building new campuses for Northeastern and Kenton Ridge for nearly $120 million, with the state picking up about 40% of the cost. The Northeastern site will open this fall, and the Kenton Ridge site is expected to open in 2023. The district is combing several school buildings into the two new buildings, including Northeastern High and Middle School, Kenton Ridge High School, Northridge Middle and Elementary School, Rolling Hills Elementary and South Vienna.

“We are excited to be in the new Northeastern PreK-12 building, and we cannot wait for our teachers and staff members to begin settling into their spaces,” said Superintendent John Kronour. “We are also looking forward to welcoming the community into the new building on Saturday, Aug. 20, when they will have an opportunity to tour the facility.”

The new Northeastern site is a two-story building, and the new Kenton Ridge site is a three-story building. Both buildings will have separate entries for the high school and elementary school side.

At Northeastern, the construction team is currently going through the list items and adding the final touches as many things have been completed such as the chemistry lab on the high school side and the side parking lot, which has been paved and striped.

“This is actually a dual-purpose lot that will be our hard surface playground area for during the day, but it will also be our bus drop off and pick up lot, and then for afterhours it has been over striped for parking for events,” Kronour said.

The chemistry lab is almost finished with a safety shower, fume hood for students to prep experiments, and some equipment and material has been moved in, Kronour said. He said teachers will soon be going in to set up later this month or in August.

All three principals from Northeastern are excited for the new building, noting the open space.

“I’m excited about everything. It is an open new space, everything is bright, and I’m just amazed with how much room and how spacious it seems now that it’s built,” said high school principal Todd Justice.

The Kenton Ridge building is a year behind Northeastern because is it “quite a bit larger.” Northeastern has about 1,100 students, and Kenton Ridge has about 2,400 students.

At Kenton Ridge, the food and consumer science lab is making progress including where the washer and drying hookups will go as well as the stoves and some storage areas. The second-floor classrooms are also coming together with windows on both sides of the room, framed windows to the outside hallway, and the doorframe and drywall is up, as well as the third floor of the elementary with metal studs and ductwork being completed.

“The last time we were here for an update it was completely open space, now they have the metal studs up and they’re putting in ductwork,” Kronour said. “They continue to work and things are moving along.”

Faculty at Kenton Ridge said a lot of progress has been made.

“I think for me, just having been in the building a couple times, is seeing everything come together. You can start to see classrooms, you can start to see offices, so that’s the exciting thing for me is just to see everything start to come together and almost become a school instead of just a building,” said assistant principal Aaron Shaffer.

“It’s just even interesting to see the progress. I was in the building about a month ago and it was just walls at that time and now you can actually see the actual floor plan coming together so there’s a lot of progress,” said high school athletic director Kris Spriggs.

The district is spending $42 million on the Northeastern site and $57 million on Kenton Ridge building. One of the new buildings will be located on the northeastern side of the district, adjacent to the current South Vienna school, and the other building will be on the property near the current Kenton Ridge High School.

Everything has been moved out of South Vienna Elementary and Middle School and the abatement is underway, while the demolition is expected to start later this month. Bricks from the building will be available at a later date for community members.

Demolition for Northeastern High School is estimated to begin in late fall or winter, but how much of the building will be downed and the exact timing are still being determined, Kronour said.

Voters approved a 37-year, $79 million bond issue for two new Pre-K-through-12 facilities in May 2018. In addition, the state will contribute 40%, or $40 million, to the project through the Ohio Facilities Construction Commission, bringing the total cost of the two schools to nearly $120 million.

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