July 22, 2008
Wapak Building Project Planning in Full Swing
By Beth L. Jokinen, The Lima News, Ohio
Jul. 22--WAPAKONETA -- Wapakoneta voters agreed in November to help the school district construct new buildings and spruce up others, and it won't be long until they begin seeing their money at work.
Plans for all portions of the $67 million project are in full swing.
Construction will begin on a new elementary school in Cridersville in October, and tonight's school board agenda includes approval of early designs for a renovated high school, including a new addition. The high school is the last portion of the four-part project.
"We're thankful to our public for supporting this," Superintendent Keith Horner said Monday. "It's exciting for our kids and our future kids. ... Updating our total facilities using these state dollars is an exciting thing."
The district is responsible for $34 million of the project, with the Ohio School Facilities Commission paying the rest. The total project is expected to be completed by the 2010-11 school year.
The 59,000-square-foot Cridersville building is going up on Reichelderfer Road. The district is still determining what to do with the current building.
The two elementary schools will house kindergarten through fourth-grade pupils. The 113,000-squre-foot Wapakoneta building will be constructed just east of the current Northridge Elementary School.
The new building will bring Northridge and Centennial schools together. Northridge will be demolished, Horner said, with the decision yet to be made about Centennial.
The middle school project will add another 11,000 square feet of space to the building, primarily classrooms. The main office space will also be changed to make the school safer.
The highlight of the 30,000 additional square footage coming to the high school is a 700-seat auditorium. Classroom space will also be added. Currently the middle school has a small auditorium used by the high school.
"It has a small stage, small wing space, no space for prop setup. It's just not very functional," Horner said.
A groundbreaking ceremony for the two elementary schools is scheduled for Sept. 24.
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