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Cottage Grove School set for demolition

8/21/2014 - South Side Leader
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By Emily Chesnic

Coventry board asking parents to back playground project

COVENTRY — An uninhabited building belonging to the Coventry Local School District soon no longer will be an eyesore in the Portage Lakes community.

The district closed Cottage Grove Elementary School after the 2006-07 school year due to structural issues inside the aging facility, Superintendent Russell Chaboudy has said.

At the Aug. 19 Board of Education meeting, Chaboudy officially announced the dilapidated building on Daisy Street will come down.

The demolition now will be done as part of the current $39.3 million renovation and high school construction project taking place in the district, he said.

In May 2013, voters passed a 5.99-mill levy and bond issue allowing the district to receive $11 million from the Ohio School Facilities Commission (OSFC) — now part of the Ohio Facilities Construction Commission — toward the project.

Chaboudy said money was earmarked for the demolition of the former Erwine Intermediate School on Portage Lakes Drive, which came down earlier this summer to make way for the construction of the ninth- through 12th-grade high school and gymnasium.

He explained the demolition of Erwine cost less than expected, which freed up funds to take down Cottage Grove.

He added the demolition will be done at no extra cost to the district or the OSFC.

The superintendent said a timeline has not yet been set for the demolition.

During the meeting, the board also held a discussion concerning the ability to add natural lighting to the current high school building and reviewed developing plans to locate a playground at the high school, as well. The current high school building will ultimately serve as Coventry Elementary School once the new high school is constructed, according to district officials.

Board member Chris Davis said he would like the playground to feature more than what currently is being proposed by the committee, which formed last school year to help bring about a sufficient space for recess.

“It has more potential than this,” he said.

Chaboudy pointed out plans still are in the works and nothing has been approved by the board. He explained more could be added to the playground if funding becomes available.

Board member Vicki Tavenier said $50,000 is needed just to cover the cost of a new large playground structure and needed playground mulch. Equipment would be moved from the current Turkeyfoot Elementary School and added to the playground, eventually, she said.

Fencing would need to be placed around the playground, and a walking trail most likely would be incorporated as well, Tavenier said.

She added the Turkeyfoot Elementary PTA has only six members currently working to raise funds for the project.

Tavenier challenged more Turkeyfoot parents to volunteer to be part of the ongoing process and fundraising efforts.

“Kids deserve people to get involved,” she said.

In addition, the board heard the first reading of a matter to identify the official Comet logo and designate the district colors, gold and blue, utilizing www.pantone.com, to be included in the revamped and new school facilities and on team uniforms.

The board also approved the bus stops and courses of study for the 2014-15 school year, as well as a 24-month agreement with Hess Corp. for the purchase of natural gas at a cost of $3.97 per thousand cubic feet (mcf).

Treasurer Aaron Butts explained the two-year agreement will save the district about 62 cents per mcf.

Before the meeting’s close, board member Robert Wohlgamuth announced a community meeting will be held Aug. 27 at 7 p.m. at the high school to discuss the ongoing renovation and construction project, specifically to highlight the work completed over the summer.

The next board meeting will take place Sept. 16 at 6 p.m. at the Lakeview Administrative Offices, located at 2910 S. Main St.

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