As we come to the end of the summer, I thought now would be a good time to provide an update on our building project for our community. I still vividly remember the anticipation and then incredible joy I felt the evening of November 2, 2022 when it was confirmed that our voters had approved the construction of a new secondary school. There were quite a few community members who had worked very hard to get as much information out to our fellow citizens as possible in the months prior to that evening. I knew before the vote that this decision was one of sacrifice by our individual taxpayers to provide this opportunity for generations to come. That also meant we needed to do everything possible to provide the very best project possible with the funding we’d been given.
Although there was incredible excitement and momentum at that time, we quickly discovered that setting up this type of large scale project took time. Although the Ohio Facility Construction Commission (OFCC) was partnered with us from the beginning, there were still lots of steps and processes that had to be completed before we could even look to hire an architect or construction company. And the selection of both of those partners was very thorough involving 70-90 page resumes, detailed scoring rubrics, and prepared presentations/interviews. However, I could not be more happy with the selection of Garmann Miller (Architect) and Peterson Construction (Construction Management Company). Both companies are fairly local and have excellent reputations in both the business and education communities.
Although we just held our official OFCC “kickoff” meeting just three weeks ago, Garmann Miller went ahead and got us started with a series of visioning meetings beginning in May. Community members, parents, teachers, administrators, cooks, custodians, bus drivers, and students took part in meetings that helped the architects discover our local top priorities. They set up scenarios that tasked groups with thinking through “a day in the life” of various students to determine important considerations when it comes to the design of a school. For example, one group of diverse representatives was tasked with thinking through the ideal environment for a 7th grade student who received special education services and participated in athletics after school. That group helped to determine that it would be best for them to have special education spaces that were purposefully placed in less busy and more quiet areas of the building. They also realized it would be good for the student to have access to a larger locker in the locker room for practice clothes and gear so as to not crowd their school locker. This is just one example of two items identified in only one simulated student group.
Now the real work has begun with Garmann Miller taking everything they heard was important and designing a secondary school that accounts for as much of that as possible. They’re now working on the third draft of an adjacency floor plan to show how the building could be laid out to meet as many needs as possible. As we begin to get close to what we feel could meet our needs well, those drafts will be put out for even more feedback and consideration. Once the layout is finalized, Garmann Miller will put their best architects and engineers to work on how to make our vision a reality. I want to end this article by again thanking our school district community for providing our students, parents, and staff the opportunity to build something we will all be proud of for generations to come. In the meantime, we are so excited to welcome our students back from their summer break Wednesday, August 24th.