Avon Lake’s Future Growth Prompts School District to Begin Planning for New Buildings

AVON LAKE, Ohio — The Avon Lake City School District is beginning the planning process for future new school buildings. Voters could see a bond issue in 2023 to pay for these improvements, which are far from finalized and still without a cost estimate.

The mission statement on the Avon Lake Schools website notes that the district is “committed to providing a personalized education of excellence, challenging all students, and developing their individual goals through community partnerships, resources and technologies that will produce responsible and compassionate citizens”.

Superintendent Bob Scott was asked, is the desire for new school buildings the impetus behind the effort to consider a new building plan in the district or is it because of the growth of the city and how that will it be reflected in the mission statement?

“It’s both,” Scott said. “A lot has to do with the speed of execution.

“We know there are subdivisions opening up, and in the next two years we will be in a space crisis like 10 years ago. So we are being proactive,” he said. declared.

“So it makes sense, in terms of the mission statement, because our buildings, K-8, are between 60 and 80 years old. They are beautiful and well maintained as proper learning centers, but they were made in another era and we have to spend huge sums to maintain them.

He noted times when elementary schools had to close because classrooms were too hot.

Scott also mentioned the terrible tragedy that occurred recently in Uvalde, Texas, where a gunman entered an elementary school building and killed 19 students and two teachers.

“It comes into play now,” he said. “We need to make our campuses as safe as possible. We can’t do much, especially when it’s very hot. We don’t have air conditioning.

“So we have to ask ourselves, how do we make it a school system now that fits the mission statement?”

Fanning Howey Architects of Columbus was appointed to serve as the architect for all new buildings and to provide professional design services. This is the same company that designed the renovations to Avon Lake High School in 2000.

“At that time, we really needed someone to come and say, ‘If you want a building for 6, 7, and 8 grades or one for lower grades, what does that building look like?’ said Scott.

“And, when we go to the community, we need to know the cost. There are many pieces to the puzzle. We need to get hard numbers and get them out into the community and get their feedback on the new buildings and the education it will bring to the students.

Scott said he seems certain the district will have to address voters with a bond issue.

Does he think this will happen for the November 8 elections?

“No, he said, it would be in 2023. We still have a lot of work to do. We need to communicate with the community and get their feedback.

Scott noted that the architects’ initial design work will take about a year.

“By May or June 2023, we should know what to put on the ballot,” he said.

At that time, the plan will be presented to the community and then to the Board of Education, which will have to decide if or when to put a bond issue on the ballot for building new facilities.

“We have a choice now,” Scott said. “After all, buildings are like houses. They don’t last forever.

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