New $27M Fairborn Primary building nearly complete

Fairborn City Schools Superintendent Gene Lolli walks through the new Fairborn Primary School. MARSHALL GORBYSTAFF
Fairborn City Schools Superintendent Gene Lolli walks through the new Fairborn Primary School. MARSHALL GORBYSTAFF

Although it is uncertain if students will physically be in schools in Ohio, primary school students in Fairborn will have a new building to go to when the coronavirus pandemic ends.

The new Fairborn primary school is nearly complete, school officials said. Gene Lolli, Fairborn City Schools superintendent, said the district started moving teachers’ materials and other equipment into the building this week.

That process will take about three weeks, Lolli said.

This new $27.3 million primary school is replacing a 60-year-old building at 4 W. Dayton-Yellow Springs Road.

The new building is two stories tall and more than 130,000-square-feet. It is being built next to the playground at the current primary school. Lolli said the project is currently on budget.

RELATED: Construction of two Fairborn schools on track

The new primary school will hold preschool, kindergarten, first and second grades. Students from Wright Elementary will move into the new primary school, Lolli said. The first floor of the building will hold preschool, kindergarten and first grades. The second floor will hold first and second grades. The preschoolers will eventually have their own entrance.

Classrooms are separated by sliding walls, so that teachers can co-teach if they’d like. The walls are magnetic white boards.

Each wing of the building pays tribute to a school in the district, like Park Hill or Baker Middle School.

There are rooms in the new primary school for students to work in isolation or with a tutor with glass partitions so that teachers can still keep an eye on their students, said Fairborn Primary Principal Vicki Hudepohl.

Hudepohl said that the special education classrooms will be better geared toward the needs of their students. The special education classrooms in the old building were not set up specifically for those students in mind, she said.

In the middle of the floor in the cafeteria in the new building there will be a giant chess board, Hudepohl said. Kids can use their bodies to play chess, she said.

The gym will also double as a storm shelter. This is the first in the state, Hudepohl said.

Lolli said he is most excited for students to be able to learn in state-of-the-art classrooms, an updated kitchen to feed students and a new HVAC system.

“Our students won’t have to learn in the stifling heat anymore,” Lolli said.

The old air conditioning and furnace often went out because of the age of the system.

The new school is also equipped with conference rooms for teachers and administration to meet with parents.

“There are beautiful, beautiful meeting rooms for teachers and parents to meet any time of the day,” Lolli said.

Unless Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine or the Ohio Health Department rule otherwise, Lolli said the school district plans to have students in-person on August 17 in the new primary and other schools. Teachers will report to school on Aug. 13, Lolli said.

Once students and teachers are moved into the new primary school, intermediate students will move into the old primary school building. The old intermediate building will be demolished this fall and the new building will be built in its place at 25 Dellwood Drive.

The new intermediate school, which will cost about $24 million to build and be 103,163-square-feet, will be completed by the fall of 2022.

The new intermediate school will hold grades three, four and five.

There will be approximately 55 teachers in the primary school and 43 teachers in the intermediate school. Both the primary and intermediate schools will hold about 1,200 students.

Fairborn voters approved the two new schools in 2016. They voted for a 2.95-mill bond levy.