Huber Heights council OKs Wayne High School career tech expansion

Huber Heights City Council approved an ordinance Monday that will allow a career technology expansion project at Wayne High School to move forward.

Interim City Planner Aaron Sorrell presented site plans to council, which approved the request in a 6-1 vote, with Councilman Ed Lyons dissenting. Councilman Richard Shaw was absent Monday, and Mayor Jeff Gore recused himself because he is an employee of the Huber Heights City School District.

ExploreHuber Heights schools tech expansion project advances without permanent makerspaces

In 2021, the school district selected Ruetschle Architects to create preliminary designs for the proposed tech expansion project, which include the renovation of and addition to a building on the Wayne High School campus. The renovated building will house three career tech labs for student use, which will allow students to experience hands-on education within the HVAC, welding, and construction/electric/carpentry fields.

Ruetschle Architects submitted a request to the city for approval of a major change to the high school, to allow for an 11,623 square-foot addition to the existing auditorium facility, according to Sorrell.

The addition would be constructed at the rear of the auditorium in an area that is currently used as parking, as well as for marching band practice, Sorrell said. This construction would result in a loss of 26 parking spaces. Sorrell said the site has around 1,100 parking spaces and added that staff considers a 26-space reduction to be negligible for day-to-day operations.

Plans also include the addition of a canopy walkway connecting the main high school and auditorium facilities, as well as improvements to the parking lot adjacent to the building addition, he said.

ExploreHuber Heights school district plans $7M expansion to include career tech labs

Mike Ruetschle of Ruetschle Architects was in attendance Monday and said the expansion project, which involves partnership with Miami Valley Career Technology center, will offer workforce learning opportunities for students beyond college pathways.

“If any of you have tried to bid anything or look for a contractor or HVAC tech, it’s difficult, so for Wayne to offer the students in the community this opportunity, it’s really exciting,” Ruetschle said.

The current Wayne High School building was part of a $186 million project to build it, along with a middle school and five elementaries after voters approved a 6.92-mill bond issue in 2008, which provided just under half of the constructions costs. Council approved development plans in 2009 and the new high school officially opened in January 2013.

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