YOUNGSTOWN SCHOOLS Web site to give project updates

The Web site also will be used to help recruit minorities into construction jobs.
YOUNGSTOWN -- Let's say you want to know what the new high school on the city's East Side is going to look like.
Or maybe you're curious about plans to handle traffic around the new West Elementary School.
Or maybe you'd like to find out when the new Harding Elementary School on the city's North Side will be ready to open.
In a few weeks, you'll be able to go to a new Internet site for answers to those questions and just about anything else you'd want to know about the city schools' $182.5 million building project.
The school district has hired Web At Work on Belmont Avenue to design a Web site to keep parents, pupils, teachers, employees, residents and anybody else who's interested updated on the five-year project.
The site, which should be up and running in about a month, will include architectural drawings, virtual tours of the new school buildings and photos updating the progress of construction, said Alphonso Curry Jr., the school district's equal employment opportunity officer.
"The concept is to keep the community informed on this major, major historical project," Curry said.
What's planned
The school plan, the largest single public works project in the Mahoning Valley's history, calls for building a new high school, four new elementary schools and a new middle school, as well as major renovations and/or additions to as many as a dozen other school buildings.
Architects have been presenting plans to school board members over the last several months. The project begins in earnest after school lets out in June, when Harding and Taft elementary schools will be demolished and construction will begin on replacements.
Web At Work will be paid an hourly rate of $54 with a maximum payout of $23,000 to put all of the information on the Internet, Treasurer Carolyn Funk said.
Construction jobs
The site also will include data on available construction jobs, "largely focused on the minority community," Funk said.
The school board has committed to hiring 20 percent minorities and 20 percent female workers on the project.
The board also has promised that 50 percent of the workers would be city residents.
The Web site "is one of the ways we're going to be recruiting and get the community involved in the jobs on this project," Curry said.
Nearly 80 percent of the cost is funded by the Ohio School Facilities Commission.
Voters passed a levy in November 2000 to provide the local 20 percent share. OSFC's statewide Web site also will include updates of the Youngstown project.

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