Work on the site could begin next week, officials say.

By Amanda C. Davis

Work on the site could begin next week, officials say.

NORTH LIMA — The first steps have been taken in getting the site ready for the new kindergarten-through-12th grade South Range school.

The school board met last week in special session to approve two bids for the project.

Treasurer Jim Phillips said Mark Schaffer Excavating and Trucking, Inc. of Norwalk was the lowest bidder for early site development, which will include grading, utilities and preparation of the land so building construction can begin in spring.

The $1.4 million contract was the lowest of eight bids received, Phillips said, adding he hoped to have the equipment there sometime this week.

The board also approved a $1.4 million bid from Middleton Geothermal Services of Akron for the drilling of geothermal wells on the site. The plan calls for 240 wells to be drilled 400 feet deep.

Phillips said geothermal heating will be much “greener” and cheaper for the district in the long run. Middleton provided the lower of two bids received.

The project is expected to wrap up in August 2010, with three separate areas for the high school, junior high and elementary school.

The buildings will sit on 60 acres along state Route 46 and Green Beaver Road in Beaver Township. The Green Beaver Baseball Complex is on the property now.

Phillips said the South Range Baseball Association already has sold its dugouts and other physical structures on the property, along with equipment.

The association hasn’t decided yet where it will relocate its fields but is considering a few options.

The district is working with the Ohio Schools Facilities Commission to construct the all-grades building. The OSFC will pay $20 million, and district voters in May 2007 approved a 28-year bond issue to cover the local share of $18.3 million.

School officials have said they anticipate taking occupancy of the new building in 2010.

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