By Rick Palsgrove
Bit by bit the new Groveport Madison High School is becoming a reality.
“Things are moving along very well,” said Jeremy Ayers of Smoot Construction at the Groveport Madison Board of Education meeting on Jan. 13.
Ayers said some obstacles were encountered during part of the process of relocating the school’s sewer line, but workers were able to overcome the problems.
“There were a lot of utilities to work around,” said Ayers.
Groveport Madison Schools spokesman Jeff Warner said the ground for the new high school will be prepared for the building pad in March and actual construction of the high school building will begin in April.
“The plan is for the new high school to open in the fall of 2018,” said Warner, who added the existing high school will be demolished in the summer of 2018.
The new high school will be built south and west of the existing high school, located at 4475 S. Hamilton Road. The existing high school, built in stages from 1966 to 1971, will continue to be used during the construction.
The 247,879 square foot new high school will include more than 50 academic classrooms, several science and technical labs, many small group rooms and areas, a variety of special education spaces, a large multi-purpose lecture room, three art rooms plus a kiln room, large band and choral rooms with practice space, a main gymnasium and an auxiliary gymnasium and an auditorium with stage, scene shop and dressing rooms.
According to Chris Dumford VSWC Architects vice president, the new high school’s design will feature an environmentally green design with high efficiency heating, air conditioning, and lighting systems; water conserving plumbing; increased indoor air quality; and use recycled and regionally obtained materials.
The $62.9 million high school will be paid for by Ohio Schools Facilities Commission funding of $29.6 million and a local taxpayer share of $33.3 million provided by a bond issue passed by the voters in May 2014.
District Service Center project
Work on the Groveport Madison District Service Center, located at 4400 Marketing Place in Groveport, is also progressing.
The 109,000 square-foot building was purchased for $2.8 million using a 20-year, low-interest bond. It will be the home of the district’s administration offices, Cruiser Academy, and the bus garage.
Dumford said the bus site on Marketing Place is under construction and it is anticipated the buses can be moved there by March 1. He said the bus maintenance facility will be operational by mid-April.
“It’s a priority to get the buses moved to the new location and get them off the high school site and out of the way of the construction,” said Warner.
Dumford said the Cruiser Academy portion of the project is in the design phase.
“We hope to move Cruiser Academy into the building this summer,” said Dumford. “We’re on track to make that happen.”
Dumford said the design phase for the administration offices part of the project should be completed by this summer. He said it is possible the administrative offices could move from the current location at 5940 Clyde Moore Drive in Groveport to the Marketing Place site by early 2017.
According to Groveport Madison Schools officials, the district purchased the Marketing Place building in order to consolidate district operations and eliminate more than $350,000 in annual rental expenses. The district has been renting three buildings to house Information Services, Buildings and Grounds, the Administrative Office, and Cruiser Academy.
The 4400 Marketing Place site can be accessed from Williams Road or South Hamilton Road via Directors Boulevard.