TORONTO - The city school district's new building to house grades sixth through 12th is proceeding according to schedule, school officials have said.
City voters overwhelmingly approved a bond issue in 2010 nearly 2-1 to pay for its portion of the building, with the Ohio School Facilities Commission picking up most of the tab. A groundbreaking ceremony for the building was held May 19. The state-of-the-art high school facility will contain new labs for science, technology for wireless Internet and meeting rooms, room-to-room broadcasting and intercom communication, as well as improved emergency communication systems.
Toronto was the only school district in the state to successfully pass its bond issue in 2010. Fred Burns, district superintendent, said construction is proceeding according to plan, and the building will open as scheduled in August 2013.
WORK ON SCHEDULE — Work on the Toronto City School District’s new building to house grades sixth through 12th is proceeding according to plans, according to school officials. The building should be completed by the time classes begin in the fall of 2013. -- Mark Miller
"Most of the footers are in," said Burns, adding the concrete infrastructure currently is being constructed. "The underground wiring and plumbing and mechanical items are being installed as well.
"The Class of 2014 will be the first to graduate," Burns continued. "The Class of 2013 will be the last to graduate from this building."
Planners also are working with the city to find a spot for the entrance sign, according to Burns.
"We are considering an electronic sign," said Burns. "The sign would be two-sided, and people will be able to see it on the entrance at Dennis Way."
Glenn Sands, project manager from Hammond Construction, primary construction contractor, is constantly at the site overseeing progress, said Burns.
"Every Tuesday morning at 9 a.m. all the main contractors, the school board, architect and construction manager have a meeting to go over progress," he said. "They review the master schedule every week, and any questions must be answered then. We need to be under a roof by this November. ... These guys have kept on working."
Contractors and school board officials also must meet once a month with the Ohio School Facilities Commission, he added.
"We have a core meeting every month," Burns said. "We're joined by an official with the Ohio School Facilities Commission. That also helps us keep on track."
Burns also said construction funds provided by the commission are first used for construction costs before local taxpayer funds raised through the bond issue. He also said the school district is required to have a contingency fund for cost overruns or emergencies related to construction.
"Any construction change order has to be approved by the superintendent and the OSFC," Burns said, adding the commission makes quick decisions regarding change orders. "The OSFC spells everything out, and it has a procedure for everything."