Groundbreaking for the new school is a little more than a year away.
By PETER H. MILLIKEN
VINDICATOR STAFF WRITER
LEAVITTSBURG -- Planning is getting under way in ernest for construction of a new $22 million school building to house grades 3-12 adjacent to Bascom Elementary School.
Architect Paul Ricciuti of Youngstown told the LaBrae school board Tuesday that the 170,000-square-foot building would be designed to house 1,214 students.
"You are going to get a state-of-the-art technology package, which includes retrieval systems from the media to the classrooms. And every classroom is going to have a telephone in it and an Internet connection," Ricciuti told the board.
The new one-story building would also be designed to separate the younger, middle and high school grades, he said, adding that it would feature an auditeria -- combined auditorium and cafeteria -- because the state won't pay for auditorium construction.
Ricciuti said he expects preliminary drawings will be available in March or April, ground will be broken in the spring of 2003, and the building will open in August 2004.
Building details: The new school will be built on a 75-acre site south of Bascom, said Kim Davis, the newly elected board president, adding that the board discussed land acquisition at the site in its executive session.
Bascom will be retained as a school for kindergarten through second grade, but Ricciuti said the two buildings probably won't be connected. Like Bascom, the new building will receive water from the Warren city water system.
Bascom, which now has a septic system, and the new building will both be tied to the city sanitary sewer system.
The $28.7 million project includes not only the construction, furnishing and technology money, but also funds for demolition of Vaughn and Leavitt elementary schools, the high school, and possibly the middle school, if no other uses are found for them.
The state is paying 70 percent of the project cost and the remainder is coming from a local bond issue that passed by 32 votes in November.
What's scheduled: The board will conduct an all-day public work session on the construction project from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday at the Avalon Inn in Howland with Ricciuti and representatives of R.P. Carbone Co. of Cleveland, the construction management company.
Superintendent Ronald J. Joseph said the Ohio EPA will retest today for arsenic in the well at Vaughn Elementary, where elevated arsenic levels prompted school officials to turn off drinking fountains over Christmas break and replace them with coolers featuring bottled water.
The board adopted a budget for the fiscal year beginning July 1, showing $11,887,500 in expenditures and $10,016,500 in revenues, with the difference coming from reserves, and causing reserves to dwindle to $321,455 at the end of that year.
The compares with the current fiscal year in which expenditures are projected at $11,786,358 and revenues at $9,526,246, with the difference also coming from reserves.
Joseph said the rising cost of employee hospitalization and the loss of almost $378,000 a year in property tax revenue due to the closing of CSC Ltd. account for a large portion of the district's deficits.