Future is not just yet

Crestview construction slated to start in 2021

NEW WATERFORD — While new school buildings are in the future for Crestview Schools, it may be a more distant future than some believed.

Eric Risinger of Holabird and Root, which is working on the design plans, on Monday laid out for the board of education a timeline for the project. Currently, Risinger said construction is slated to begin in 2021.

Right now the architects are looking at preschematics, making certain the project will meet the district’s needs from a size requirement and then engineering it to last for the next 50 years. Risinger said 30 to 40 people will be involved in making certain everything is done to meet the requirements of the Ohio Schools Facility Commission, which is funding 88 percent of the project, and for the school district.

The 3-D drawings and detailing will be completed in 2020, with the board, teachers and others able to tour the classrooms and other parts of the building digitally from inside the design using a type of virtual reality software.

By the fall of 2020, Risinger said the project should be ready for bidding and early site preparations. That will lead to construction in 2021.

Superintendent Matthew Manley said while the money from the OSFC is guaranteed and waiting for them, the state’s construction projects are currently running behind schedule. So the 2021 projected construction date is a rough estimate and could be sooner or later than that.

Still the school teachers, maintenance staff and designers have not been waiting around, but actively looking at other options. Some traveled to the Wadsworth, Revere and Champion school districts to look at some newer, more modern schools and get a feel for what the classrooms of tomorrow will look like. On Tuesday, some staff members are scheduled to go to South Range, Jackson Milton, Western Reserve and West Branch. Manley said those buildings are schools where everyone from preschool to high school are essentially connected in one facility, as Crestview is planning to build.

A retired custodian, Michael Kyser, said he believes some needed things were ignored in the past and it made a mess with the current buildings, urging Risinger to listen to the needs of the school and make sure things are done right. Manley noted Kyser should know because he has spent a lot of time up on ladders working on the school’s heating system.

Board member Dave McGoogan also pointed out the schools in Newton Falls currently has two levies on the ballot — a 1.9-mill permanent improvement levy and a 4.5-mill emergency levy, which will generate about $231,677 and $548,707, respectively, if passed.

McGoogan pointed out these are just to make repairs and keeping things going in that district. He thanked voters at Crestview for making the OSFC project possible by voting for the two levies totaling 2.84 mills in May, which is allowing the district to generate the $5.2 million over 35 years in order to build new schools.