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Norton school, stadium project moving forward

6/26/2014 - West Side Leader
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By Maggie DeMellier

Shown are renderings of the proposed site plan and façade of the new Norton High School and stadium.
Renderings courtesy of MKC Associates Inc.
NORTON — Norton City School officials received an update on the district’s new high school and stadium project during the June 23 Norton Board of Education meeting.

This past November, voters approved a 3.89-mill bond issue that allows the district to build a new high school and close two of its oldest buildings. According to district officials, the total cost for the project is about $32 million, with the bond issue raising $15.8 million and the state contributing $16.3 million.

According to district officials, the project includes the construction of a new high school, as well as converting the current high school into a middle school and selling or demolishing the aging Cornerstone and Grill elementary schools. The current middle school will be used as an elementary school for first through fourth grades.

According to site plans presented at a meeting, the new high school will occupy six properties, totaling 9.97 acres of land along South Cleveland-Massillon Road.

Board Vice President Pat Santelli said the athletic field is expected to be ready for use in August 2015, and the new building is expected to be ready for students in August 2016.

At the meeting, representatives from MKC Associates Inc. presented several site plans and proposed views of the new high school. Steve Miller, planner for MKC, made the main presentation, joined by several others from the firm.

According to MKC Project Manager Rachel Beecher, Phase I included a detailed environmental site assessment, which began in April 2007 and explored issues including the presence of hazardous substances, adjacent properties and wetlands.

The next phase, a schematic design phase, is expected to be completed in about a month. The following phase will be the design development phase, which will take approximately three months, and a construction development phase, which is expected to be completed in another three months. Stadium construction will begin in October and construction of buildings is expected to begin next spring.

The new school will be larger to accommodate more students and will feature more space for athletic and performing arts programs, according to the proposed plans.

At the meeting, board members announced the establishment of committees designed to assist with implementation of the project and designated board members to lead each committee. The committees and chairs include: Rob Knight, Athletics/Physical Education Committee; Cindy Webel, Historical Preservation Committee; Jennifer Bennett, Interior/Exterior Aesthetics Committee; Santelli, Performing Arts/Auditorium Committee; and Jason Sams, Safety and Security Committee.

Board members asked for parents and volunteers to work on the committees. Anyone who is interested can contact the school administration office 330-825-0863.

Also at the meeting, members approved the following:

  • contracts with several personnel for the next school year;
  • the hiring of Keith Fetzer as facilities supervisor;
  • the resignation of Christine Walker as varsity volleyball coach and hiring Aireka Wright as her replacement;
  • the purchase of three new Transit Style BlueBird All American passenger buses for a total of $298,800;
  • a property, fleet and liability insurance contract effective July 1 through June 30, 2015, with the Ohio School Plan at a cost of $67,876.
  • an agreement with United Disability Services for the 2014-15 school year;
  • the high school’s breakfast program for the 2014-15 school year at a cost of $1.75 per breakfast; and
  • several donations, totaling $6,040, for the Wes Morris Memorial Fund for the Special Education Department. Morris, 64, died June 8. According to his obituary, he was employed for the past 15 years as a special education teacher at Norton High School. 

The next board meeting is set for July 14 at 7:30 p.m. in the Norton High School Media Center, 4108 S. Cleveland-Massillon Road.

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