By Dedra Cordle
The new Franklin Heights High School opened its doors on Aug. 31, but students and staff will see and hear something quite familiar – the sights and sounds of continued construction.
During the Aug. 24 South-Western City Schools board of education meeting, Mark Waller, the district’s coordinator of property services and construction projects, told the board that it will likely continue into next year.
“The construction at the high school has been plagued by bad weather,” he said. “We had two of the worst winters back-to-back and this summer has been bad as well with all of the rainfall.”
Waller said that the high school was a three-phased project and that two of them have been completed, which was enough to finally open the school after construction on the new building began two years ago.
“We’re onto phase three right now and that will take a little more time,” he said.
Phase three will consist of athletic facility upgrades, the construction of the art wing and the completion of the highly anticipated, non-gravel parking lot.
Waller said that with luck, phase three would be completed by the end of the year, but that time frame could change with inclement weather.
In addition to the opening of a new Franklin Heights, the district also celebrated the opening of four elementary schools – Darbydale, Finland, J.C. Sommers and Stiles. Those schools, along with Franklin Heights and nine other elementary schools are a part of the Ohio Facilities Construction Commission project. While most of the construction with the OFCC project is completed, it continues for Highland Park Elementary, Prairie Lincoln Elementary, Richard Avenue Elementary and West Franklin Elementary.
In addition to the construction of the new schools, most of the other schools in the district saw some upgrades as well, said Waller. The upgrades include the partial roof replacement at Brookpark and Norton Middle Schools, the replacement of sidewalks at Brookpark Middle School and Westland High School and new chillers at the Grove City Recreation Center.
Additional upgrades include:
•New showers at Westland High School
•Pressbox improvements at Franklin Heights High School
•Running track renovations at Jackson Middle School
•Visiting side bleacher replacement at the Grove City High School football field
•Bleacher replacement in the gymnasiums at Grove City and Westland High School
•Asphalt replacement at Central Crossing and Grove City High Schools, Galloway Ridge and
Holt Crossing Intermediate Schools and Brookpark, Jackson, Norton and Pleasant View Middle Schools. The Bostic Center had its asphalt replaced as well.