Construction of two elementary schools is moving forward in the Buckeye Valley School District.
The goal to complete the project in time for the 2018-19 school year, say school officials.
Land along State Route 257 — that will become the site of one school — was recently purchased for $535,000 near Bellpoint in Concord Township.
The district’s board of education last August approved the purchase of 31 acres of land in Concord Township for about $465,000.
The parcel was believed to be 31 acres at the lower cost. The parcel ended up being bigger then originally thought, school officials said.
“The parcel ended up being larger at 39 acres,” Buckeye Valley Superintendent Andy Miller said. “It had not been surveyed in many years. The district and land owner agreed to a reduced price for the additional eight acres.” The other school will be built in Ashley.
According to Miller, the budget for each building includes site development. The projected cost for the BV East Elementary School is $11.6 million and the school will serve 475 students. The projected cost for the BV West Elementary School is $13.6 million and the school will serve 625 students.
Additional costs for the project include architectural and engineering fees, construction manager fees, testing, agency approvals fees and legal costs. Those costs for BV East are projected to be $2 million. The additional costs for BV West are expected to be $2.3 million.
“In addition, there are dollars set aside for site acquisition and building demolition in the amount of $1,750,000,” Miller said.
Construction of the new schools was made possible by passage of a $31.25 million bond issue last November. The issue was passed by two votes.
Sketches and plans have not been drawn up yet for the two buildings. The district is still in the beginning stages of planning. School officials have put together a “visioning team” which is made up of teachers and principals from the two elementary schools. The group has been looking at ways to benefit the students of both buildings now and in the future. “The team visited some schools in central Ohio on their last professional development day,” Miller said.
The BV West building will be constructed from the ground up while the BV East will be built in sections around the existing building. This comes with a new challenge. “Keeping the learning going and making the construction distraction minimal,” Miller said. Once construction is finished, the other two buildings will be torn down.
According to Miller, as the work moves forward, school officials are working on making schedules more solid. He said he has never been involved in the construction of a building before, and he admits there are lots of moving pieces to keep track of at any given time. “I got into this business to help kids, not as a construction expert,” Miller said.
D. Anthony Botkin may be reached at 740-413-0902 or on Twitter @dabotkin.