Buckeye Valley Local School District Superintendent Andrew Miller said construction of the district’s two new elementary buildings continues to progress.
“Nothing has changed on the substantial completion dates,” said Miller. “We’ll have BV West completed by the first nine weeks in the fall of 2018, weather permitting.”
Miller said that the steel is in place for the building on State Route 257 and the goal is to have it “under roof in the not too distant future.”
However, Miller said that the attempted acquisition of the property adjacent to Buckeye Valley Elementary School East, located at 530 East High Street in Ashley, continues to present a risk to the overall project schedule.
The property is currently the home to the Haunted Hoorah, a local Halloween attraction owned by Brent and Angie Stooksbury that’s been operating in Ashley for the past four years.
“There is no update on acquiring the property next door,” Miller said. “There may be some possible negotiations, but I don’t see anything on the horizon.”
District officials say the Haunted Hoorah property is necessary to complete the construction of the elementary school complex in Ashley. According to court documents, the school district had the property appraised at $95,000. Brent Stooksbury said he has had the property appraised at $330,000.
The school district filed a petition in the Delaware County Court of Common Pleas, General Division, in January to appropriate the property next to Buckeye Valley East Elementary. The court has set a jury trial date for March 27, 2018.
However, Miller said the district does have a “Plan B” if it can’t acquire the Haunted Hoorah property in time to make the substantial completion date.
“We’ll cap the one end of the wing,” he said. “We’ll just come back to it.”
Miller said the only real additional cost will be keeping the portable classrooms in place a little longer.
“We won’t have as many classrooms right away since the wing won’t be completed,” he said. “It’s not a big ticket item to cap the wing.”
Miller said to keep construction progressing on BV East, students are moved from the old section to the new section of the building. He said the next major step in the construction of the building is “moving the kids out of the front of the building to the back to take down the front.”
Miller also said, just like with the Radnor school building, the district is going to open up the front section to the public Feb. 10 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. to walk through before tearing it down.
The district’s website states that the substantial completion timeframe for BV East will be Winter 2019.
The construction of the two new elementary buildings was made possible by voters passing a $31.25 million bond issue in November of 2015.