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Coventry board selects design of new high school

6/19/2014 - South Side Leader
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By Emily Chesnic

Plus, vacant Cottage Grove School probable for demolition

Shown are renderings of the front and back of what the new Coventry High School is expected to look like.
Renderings courtesy of Coventry Local Schools
COVENTRY — The facade has been selected for the new Coventry High School, which will be situated on Portage Lakes Drive.

At the June 17 meeting, the Coventry Local Schools Board of Education accepted a rendering of the building to be constructed at the site of Erwine Intermediate School, which is scheduled for demolition in early August.

While most board members were complimentary of the plans drawn up by the GPD Group, of Akron, board member Christopher Davis said he was disappointed with the look. He did not vote in favor of the outside design of the building.

Board President Robert Wohlgamuth said the outside plan had to match the inside floor plan, which already was approved by the board.

According to the rendering, the front of the three-story high school will consist primarily of glass windows and some light-colored brick work. The brick will wrap around and fill the back side of the building, in addition to parking.

Board member David Andrews said the design could “never please everybody.”

Andrews believes local residents will drive by the completed building and ultimately take pride in what they see, however.

He said the board was looking for “something different.”

Andrews added the approved design also was favored by the majority of community members who attended a recent public meeting on the project.

Also during the regular meeting, the board approved an agreement with CT Taylor Construction, of Hudson, for the design-build of the high school.

Funding for the project comes from a 5.99-mill levy and bond issue voters approved in May 2013. Passage of the levy and bond issue allowed the district to receive $11 million from the Ohio School Facilities Commission (OSFC) (now part of the Ohio Facilities Construction Commission) for a $39.3 million construction and renovation project in the district. The new ninth- through 12th-grade high school and gymnasium will be constructed through the levy/bond issue and funds provided by the OSFC.

Superintendent Russell Chaboudy announced the district most likely will now be able to demolish the former Cottage Grove Elementary School on Daisy Street, which has not been used by the district in years, as part of the district-wide project. He said the building could come down around the same time of the Erwine demolition, happening in about six weeks. Chaboudy explained the demolition will not cost the district anything nor the state any additional dollars because the estimate for the Erwine demolition is less than expected.

Removal of the building will be very beneficial to the community, he added.

Andrews said renovations are continuing through the summer at the current high school, which is being transformed into the district’s elementary school.

The board also took numerous actions during the meeting in preparation for the 2014-15 school year, including the adoption of student handbooks; pay-to-participate fees; a contract with Akron Children’s Hospital for nursing services; start and end times for the school buildings; and the hiring of additional summer help.

At the close of the meeting, the board held an executive session regarding a personnel matter.

The next regular board meeting will take place July 15 at 6 p.m. at the Lakeview Administrative Offices, 2910 S. Main St.

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