YOUNGSTOWN Board of education adopts school renovation plans

The board gave Choffin Career Center a new lease on life.
YOUNGSTOWN -- The board of education has given the green light to a $10.3 million renovation of its Choffin Career and Technical Center.
By passing a resolution Tuesday, the board committed itself to use $1,125,461 in proceeds from the sale of its Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield stock toward its 20 percent share of the project cost. The state is paying 80 percent of the project cost.
Initially, the Ohio School Facilities Commission estimated the cost of renovating Choffin at $4,685,892, but a later state evaluation raised that figure to $15,178,614.
Discussions between Cleveland-based Heery International (the district's construction managers) and OSFC officials led to the $10.3 million project, which the board's resolution says was intended to accomplish necessary improvements without compromising the educational design or technology available to students.
"That meets the needs of the school and does what we want to see done in that building," Anthony DeNiro, executive director of school business affairs, said of the $10.3 million project.
The renovations, presented to the board by architect Syed Abbas, president of the Architectural Vision Group of Cleveland, will include installation of new heating and ventilating and sprinkler systems; new interior lighting, windows and doors; roof replacement, handicapped accessibility improvements and improved fire alarm, emergency lighting and security systems.
Chaney High School
The board also heard architect Ray Jaminet of Olsavsky-Jaminet Architects of Youngstown describe his plans for the $23 million expansion and renovation of Chaney High School.
The project will more than double the high school's size, adding a competition gymnasium with seating for 1,200 spectators, a new media center and a three-story classroom wing. There will be 21 classrooms and nine science labs in the new addition.
The expansion phase is to begin next February, with the addition to be completed by September 2004, at which time, students will be moved into the new addition to allow a year's worth of renovation in the old part of the high school.
Jaminet displayed a model of the expanded school showing new bleachers and lighting at the athletic field to allow football games to be held there, but he said the bleachers and lighting will not be funded by the state-sponsored school building expansion and renovation project.
He said he is discussing funding options for the $500,000 worth of bleachers and lighting with the Chaney Gridiron Club. Jaminet also displayed four colors of face brick and precast concrete (red, yellow, beige and a darker brown) that will be used in the exterior walls of the new $8 million Harding Elementary School.
It will be built beginning in mid-August of this year on the same site as the old Harding School, which will be demolished in July. Students there will relocate to Jefferson School, where they will remain until the new Harding opens in January 2004, he said.
The Choffin, Chaney and Harding projects are part of a $180 million, six-year program of new construction, expansion and renovation of the district's school buildings.

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