First phase of West Carrollton new schools to cost $44M; work not slowed by COVID-19

A new West Carrollton school housing students in grades five and six would be built on the site of CF Holliday Elementary in Moraine. NICK BLIZZARD/STAFF
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A new West Carrollton school housing students in grades five and six would be built on the site of CF Holliday Elementary in Moraine. NICK BLIZZARD/STAFF

The cost of the new school buildings West Carrollton hopes to break ground on this year is about the same as the money that will be generated by a $44 million bond issue approved by district voters.

District records show the pre-kindergarten/first grade site will cost about $25 million while the fifth- and sixth-grade school’s price will be about $19 million.

Both schools are part of the first phase to replace schools in the district as part of a $124 million project officials say has not yet been impacted shutdowns due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Nothing has slowed down,” district business manager Jack Haag said. “We’re still moving forward with everything.”

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When Gov. Mike DeWine last month announced school shutdowns due to the coronavirus, officials were initially unsure if the time line for the project would be interrupted. But communication issues because of social distancing were resolved in a few days, he added.

“We’ve got the buildings pretty much laid out right now,” Haag said. “So now we’re seeing how they’ll fit on our properties. Once we have that down and we see how they’re going to fit and we can come up with our site plan, then we’ll start taking it back to the cities” for review.

The school district includes parts of Moraine and Miami Twp.

The pre-K/first-grade building will be constructed on the site of the Walter Shade Early Childhood Center while the facility for grades 5 and 6 will go up where Holliday Elementary is now in Moraine.

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The building project largely funded by state money also calls for a school housing students in grades 2 through 4 on the current site of West Carrollton Middle School. A campus housing seventhgraders through seniors will be built on the current sites of Schnell Elementary and West Carrollton High School.

The names of the schools – the first ones built in the district in more than 50 years – will be named later, Haag said.

District voters in November approved a $44 million bond issue to replace schools that have an average age of 67 years.

Ohio Facilities Construction Commission documents show the state will contribute more than $92 million to the project. School district officials have said the total principal cost of the four-school project is estimated at $124 million, with millions in interest payments on top of that.

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After the bond issue was approved, the board of education hired Garmann Miller Architects and Engineers to lead the building design team and Shook Construction as construction manager, records show.

Haag said district officials have been meeting with those companies on Skype and they are nearing completion of site plans for phase one.

The district plans a groundbreaking sometime this fall. When that will occur will be dependent on how quickly plans move through the planning and zoning reviews with the cities, Haag said.


NEW SCHOOLS

The West Carrollton schools construction plan, according to the district, includes:

•A pre-kindergarten to first grade building and one housing students in grades two through four on the current sites of Early Childhood Center and West Carrollton Middle School.

•A building housing fifth and sixthgraders on the current site of Holliday Elementary.

•A campus housing seventhgraders through seniors on the current sites of Schnell Elementary and West Carrollton High School.