Prairie Run Elementary will be the name of the Big Walnut Local School District’s newest building, it was announced at the Board of Education meeting on Thursday, April 18.
Before the board’s unanimous vote on the name, it was noted that district residents suggested more than 100 different names over several weeks. This was narrowed by a committee to five possibilities, and the local natural feature was selected because it had no controversy over either its name or initials.
Doug Swartz, facilities director for the district, said site preparation is currently being done. “We’re literally pushing dirt around,” he said.
In addition, the date for an official groundbreaking of the new Prairie Run site was announced: April 30 at 7 p.m. Swartz said the event would be shown live on Facebook. He recommended this as the best way to see the event, since there is limited parking on Kintner Parkway, and the site is likely to be very muddy.
According to a timeline provided by the district and construction manager Gilbane Building Company, Prairie Run will be enclosed by the end of 2019. It is slated to open in August of 2020. The 60,000 square-foot building was designed by VSWC Architects.
In the fall of 2019, there will be a separate groundbreaking for the 325,000 square-foot high school. The high school building will be enclosed by the end of 2020, and the anticipated opening date is August 2022, two school years after the opening of Prairie Run.
Along with the construction, Miller Drive will be extended to Kintner Parkway. The address for Prairie Run Elementary School will be 701 N. Miller Drive. The Village of Sunbury has assigned six new addresses for each of the district’s new buildings, including the football stadium.
Also at the meeting, the district approved renewing its membership in the Ohio High School Athletic Association. Membership is necessary to participate in statewide sports tournaments. Board member Andy Wecker voted against the resolution, noting that while the OHSAA was “the only game in town,” he felt their referees didn’t do enough to ensure the safety of the student-athletes during events.