By Linda Dillman
The physical absence of students in the Canal Winchester High School building is having an unintended impact on a multi-million-dollar renovation project due to wind-up later this summer—it is ahead of schedule.
When students return to the building, it will not look the same as it did when they abruptly left in March.
There is now a second gym and media center addition and the former high school office is a student commons area. The new main office faces Washington Street. Another classroom wing was constructed, and new furniture and flooring installed.
“Pre-site work started in July 2018 and actual construction started in February 2019,” said Canal Winchester Schools Superintendent James Sotlar. “The final completion date is August 2020. This is the second phase of the OFCC project. The additions will give us needed classrooms space to cover growth now and in the future. Total cost is A$26.1 million, the state share is $18.6 million and the district’s share is $7.5 million.”
The process started in 2016 when the district asked the Ohio Facilities Construction Committee to formally commit to Canal Winchester’s plan after its board approved a resolution in January of the same year.
When asked how the project impacts the way education is delivered, Sotlar said classrooms and learning continue to evolve and the district needs to keep students engaged, encourage collaboration, be innovative and give students more freedom.
“The new additions/spaces and furniture will allow us to meet the needs,” said Sotlar. “This is a very exciting time for the district, and I am looking forward to showcasing the school in August.”