New Austintown schools will open Sept. 4

By kalea hall


The Austintown Board of Education and Superintendent Vincent Colaluca set the record straight Tuesday: The new K-2 and 3-5 buildings will open Sept. 4 as expected.

“The schools are good; they are on time and under budget,” Colaluca said during a school-board meeting.

The board approved R.T. Vernal Paving and Excavating Inc. of North Lima to pave the sites for $1,195,200, the last contract that needed to be approved.

Colaluca said he went through the buildings last week, and everything looked like it was going well. Classrooms are starting to be assembled, but teachers will not be allowed in the buildings until Aug. 19. Administrative staff will receive temporary occupancy Aug.12.

“The biggest piece right now is finalizing a lot of the inspections,” Colaluca said, including fire alarms and suppression systems.

The two new buildings cost $50 million and $23 million was covered by the Ohio School Facilities Commission; the local share was paid for by a bond issue in May 2010.

A levy that is needed to pass within 13 months for the school district to accept $32 million from the facilities commission to build a new high school and add on to the Austintown Middle School will not appear on the November ballot, Colaluca said. Instead, the levy will appear on the May 2014 ballot.

“We feel that we definitely want to get into the [new buildings] and let the community see what they are getting for their dollar,” Colaluca said.

A dedication for the new buildings will take place at the Awesome-Town celebration Oct. 6.

Also at the meeting, the board welcomed four new administrators to the district and 19 new teachers to replace those who retired or relocated.

The board also approved a resolution to accept the Diesel Emission Reduction Grant from the Ohio Depart- ment of Transportation and Environmental Protection Agency to replace 14 diesel buses with propane-fueled buses for $1,070,888, of which the district will pay 20 percent.

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