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Girard school officials review bids for center

GIRARD — School officials are having architects review six bids for the proposed performing arts center to be constructed by Girard High School off Shannon Road.

Schools Treasurer Mark Bello told the board of education Thursday the bids from contractors are being reviewed by Axiom Architects LLC of Youngstown and a selection could be made at the October meeting.

Board President Mark Zuppo said the board will listen to the recommendation from the architects on the project and then either call a special meeting or take action at the Oct. 26 meeting.

The plan is to construct the center on the northwest corner of the high school building property. The project’s future will depend on cost.

Zuppo has said the center would be used for school performing arts events and graduation ceremonies. There also are plans to host local theater and dance groups in the building.

The project would not require any additional levies or taxpayer dollars to come to fruition thanks to financial planning by the district.

Bello has said he has been able to watch finances in recent years and the funding for the center is in place. He said school district officials will be able to determine the final project cost after the bids are reviewed.

The facility would include a performing arts center with a 950-seat auditorium and a new parking lot. The project also would include music classrooms, a stage area, changing rooms, storage area and practice rooms.

The building project also will incorporate the construction of the new board of education offices at the Shannon Road site.

Board offices are located on second floor of the Girard city building.

Officials have said the plan is to have the performing arts center and new board administration offices completed before the start of the 2024-25 school year.

Bill Cook, project architect, said the planned band room would be 1,800 square feet for more than 65 students, and a choir room will have 1,300-square feet for 45 to 50 students.

School officials have said the high school cafetorium, which has a stage, is limited on seating for events. Graduations and other functions have been moved to the gymnasium.

Zuppo said the current complex doesn’t have enough room to house all the students at once in the cafetorium, which prompted them to consider building a new auditorium.

PURCHASE PROPERTY

The board also went into executive session to discuss purchase of property for public use.

Zuppo said no action will be taken after the executive session and he did not elaborate on what property is being considered for purchase.

Zuppo said the center has been discussed for eight years and was put on hold during the coronavirus pandemic.

In other business, board member Diane Alejars, chair of the facilities committee, said a special safety-film covering is being placed over school windows on the first floor of the high school.

She said the film on the windows and doors helps deter gunfire. She added that the film makes it more difficult for a weapon to cause damage.

“It will not stop it, but it will help delay gunfire enough for two or three minutes so people can react and get people to safety,” Alejars said.

She said they are an added protection for keeping students and staff safe.

She said security cameras are being put in at the three district buildings that are directly tied to the police station, which can respond quickly to any incident.

“We are doing what we can to protect our students and staff,” Alejars said.

The district had received a $400,000 state safety grant for the safety projects. Board members said the grant will cover most of the costs with the district paying more than $20,000.

The board also approved a contract with Armor Window Films Inc. for anti-ballistic glass film for doors and windows and an agreement with VEC Inc. for safety cameras for the schools.

In other action, the board:

• Recognized fourth grader Maddox Collins for raising $3,376 through various fundraisers for Second Harvest Food Bank, which can use the funds for providing 19,000 meals;

• Recognized Bello for his service on the treasury / business advisory board of the Ohio School Council for the 2022-23 year;

• Approved sixth-grade class trip to Camp Fitch in March 2024.

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