Lebanon is in the final stages of a multi-year, $72 million school building project.
Work will be done when the old elementary, where the school district offices are located, is demolished. The district offices will be moved to a renovated section of another old school, formerly the high school and then Lebanon Junior High, on Miller Road.
“The project this community supported should last for many, many years. I think it’s a testament to what the community thinks about its schools,” Superintendent Todd Yohey said.
To get it all done, the district expects to spend more than $1 million not included in the building project funding in expectation of saving on $4 million in repairs otherwise needed on the former Holbrook Elementary School, where the district offices and board meeting room are located.
“From a financial standpoint, it just makes more sense,” Yohey said.
On Tuesday, Lebanon planners signed off on the renovation and demolition, clearing the way for the district offices to move into part of the building that has served as the district’s high and junior school.
The eastern part is to be demolished, with the rest left for the offices. The move is anticipated next summer or fall. The district’s auditorium and main gym will also remain there.
“The project consists of renovating the existing school to be the new Board of Education office for the Lebanon City Schools. A new parking lot is envisioned for the north and south of the proposed office. The east part of the school will be demolished,” according to an application by the Kleingers Group to Lebanon Planning Commission.
With state and local funds, the district built a new $27 million junior high, just north of its predecessor.
The building at 160 Miller Rd. was built as a high school in the mid-1960s, replacing what was the previous high school and is now Berry Middle School, further south on Broadway.
Berry was also renovated as part of the district’s $72 million construction plan funded through state funds and local levies.
District voters approved a 1.87-mill levy to finance $56.8 million in local costs, including $27.4 million in principal and $29.4 million in interest.
Local voters also approved a 0.5-mill levy to fund continued maintenance required by the state to qualify for the funding. The Ohio Facilities Construction Commission is to contribute $45.1 million.
On Wednesday, Yohey said demolition of the eastern part of the Miller Road building was being postponed for more evaluation of asbestos remediation. Bids had pegged this project at $628,721 from state and local funds.
The former Holbrook Elementary, where the board offices have been located in a neighborhood off Columbus Avenue, is to be demolished and kept “as green space,” Yohey said.
The district has no plans to sell the land and “the future use is a crystal ball,” he added.