Architects pitch plans for Mathews K-12

VIENNA – Four architectural firms presented their ideas to the Mathews Board of Education on Wednesday as the school district plans to move forward with construction of a K-12 school complex.

Superintendent Lew Lowery said the school district will be seeking a bond issue on the May primary ballot and will be reviewing the architect’s ideas before making a selection on who would handle the project.

The four firms who gave presentations were BSHM Architects of Youngstown, MKC Architects of Mansfield, Olsavsky Jaminet Architects of Youngstown, and Architecture Vision Group of Cleveland.

Each firm was given 45 minutes to discuss their ideas followed by a question and answer session. About 20 people attended the meeting.

Lowery said the board will officially place the bond issue on the ballot later this year.

Lowery said interest for the new complex would be to place it at the Baker Elementary School site near the football stadium in Vienna.

The new complex would house the district’s estimated 1,000 students with separate sections for elementary, middle and high school.

The district currently has three buildings with primary grades at Currie located in Fowler, intermediate grades at Baker, and junior high and high school grades at the high school both in Vienna.

He said the district’s buildings are aging with the high school to be 100 years old in two years and Baker and Currie schools both constructed in the 1960s. Neal School in Fowler was closed last year and was the oldest school.

Officials said the current schools do not provide appropriate space for the 21st century and there are increased maintenance and operating costs as the schools age.

Lowery said the district has tried to construct new schools but levies have not received voter support in past years.

Board President Ken Wallace said four firms were selected from nine that had expressed interest in the project.

”We wanted to see what each of the presenters have to offer. This will allow the board members to make a more informed choice on which architect for the project,” Wallace said.

All the firms expressed the importance of community involvement and engagement with the project.

Public meetings about the bond issue will be held for the community.

Byron Manchester and Gary Balog with BSHM Architects said they have worked on local school building projects with the Ohio Schools Facilities Commission on new complexes in Brookfield, LaBrae, Niles, Liberty, Newton Falls and McDonald.

”School buildings today must be flexible with changes in technology. We want to make the most high performance building to create effective teaching space,” said Manchester.

Steve Miller, with MKC Architects, said as a former teacher, coach and board member in Mansfield, he is familiar with the needs of schools.

”This building is your decision and we will facilitate that design,” said Todd Wrobleski with MKC Architects.

He said a time frame for the complex with the passage of the bond issue in May would be construction in 2015 and completion in late 2016.

Also at the special meeting Wednesday the board approved a nine-month lease agreement with Cortland Banks effective Oct. 1 through June 2014 for board space on the second floor of the bank building.