The Delaware Area Career Center Board of Education voted to approve the plans for an upcoming unified campus at its meeting Thursday night.
The board voted to move ahead with the $45 million project Thursday and said the center is planning to break ground on the project in October.
The building project is projected to be completed by the second semester of the 2018-19 school year.
Representatives from SHP Leading Designs, the architecture firm who designed the unified campus, first presented designs to the board at a meeting on Feb. 10 and were met with positive feedback and a few concerns.
Greg Gaber, the managing principal of the SHP Columbus office, presented improved version of the design at subsequent board meetings in March and said at a meeting on April 13 that designers had addressed all of the previous concerns with their finalized design.
The unified campus will be a 224,774 square-foot facility and will house all of the DACC’s programs. School officials have been adamant that no programs or staff positions would be cut as the result of the consolidation.
Gaber said the new campus will be built around the existing South Campus location and will add a new wing to house many of the North Campus programs including auto tech, welding and construction. The North Campus will be closed.
Designers told the board that students will be able to use a number of the school’s entrances during arrival but, once classes begin, visitors will only be able to gain access to the building through one of two new entrances. Gaber added that one of the entrances is specifically for adult education to keep those students separate from the general student population.
Designers have also said the driveway on the west side of the building — that provides a turn onto U.S. 23 — will be removed and another driveway will be added on the east parking lot and connected to Glenn Parkway. Designers said that plan will give students and buses separate lanes.
Gaber has also said that a traffic signal will likely have to be added at the intersection of Glenn Parkway and U.S. 23 to accommodate the increased traffic.
After the unified campus is completed, DACC officials plan to sell the North Campus. The board approved a motion to place the building for sale at its Feb. 18 meeting. School officials have said they will continue to maintain the building until it is sold.
In January, the board voted to approve a budget of $45 million for the consolidation, $10 million more than what was projected after a feasibility study estimated the cost of consolidation would be about $35 million, an amount center officials said they had saved. School officials said they would take out a loan for the remaining funds and have stressed they would not go to voters for additional money.
Glenn Battishill can be reached at 740-413-0903 or on Twitter @BattishillDG.