Construction under way in Champion

PK-8 school complex to be located off state Route 45

Champion schools facility manager Mark Harper stand next to the first concrete pour as construction continues on the new PK-8 school..
by R. Michael Semple

Champion schools facility manager Mark Harper stand next to the first concrete pour as construction continues on the new PK-8 school.. by R. Michael Semple

CHAMPION — As temperatures reached into the lower 90s last week, work crews were out in full force working on various parts of the $31 million PK-8 school complex to be located off state Route 45, south of Champion High School.

Scott Neill, project manager with Hammond Construction of Canton, the main project contractor, said through the summer and fall all the exterior work of the new school will be worked on with interior work to be done in the winter.

Plans are to get the roofs done and the building closed in by late fall.

Neill said the project is on schedule as the weather, while at times hot, has not affected the work.

Work crews from 19 different subcontractors and companies, including excavators, electricians, masonry and plumbers, could be seen with hard hats working in separate areas of the school as the exterior walls of the building were going up and concrete was being poured for the first time last week.

The 127,000-square-foot complex will have separate sections for younger and older students.

The two-story middle school section, with two grades on the first floor and two on the second floor, is on the western side of the property directly off Route 45. The single-story elementary section is on the eastern section of the property. A large gym, offices and main entrance area separate the two sections.

A drive from Route 45 will take people around the building to the nearby football stadium and high school located north of the site.

Kelly Boyle, board of education president. said he has spoken to work crews and learned the project is moving along as scheduled with everything to be under roof by the end of the year.

”This is a project the community is looking forward to seeing. When you drive by you can see it is really moving forward. The board and administration are very pleased at the progress that has been made,” he said.

Groundbreaking was held last fall with work started in May. The project is scheduled to be completed by summer 2018 for the 2018-19 school year.

Voters approved a 4.4-mill bond issue to raise $13.8 million to provide the school district’s share of the building project. The approval triggered an Ohio School Facilities Commission’s Facilities Assistance Program offer to kick in the remaining $17.5 million.

Champion Central Elementary, which currently houses grades kindergarten through fourth, located near intersection of state routes 45 and 305, and Champion Middle School, which houses grades fifth to eighth, off Alva Avenue, will be used for the last time in the 2017-18 school year before demolition. Central is the oldest of the three district buildings at 100 years.

OSFC determined the elementary and middle schools needed replaced due to age.

The project was designed by Balog, Steines, Hendricks and Manchester (BSHM) Architects of Youngstown. Hammond Construction has also done work for Austintown, LaBrae and Warren schools.

Superintendent Pamela Hood has said previously the building project is one of the first major undertakings in years for the school district.

Input for the school came from teachers and administrators who spent time looking at newly built school complexes in New Albany, Beaver Local, Ridgemont and Strongsville.

The board purchased 20.9 acres off Route 45, south of the high school and north of the township cemetery, for the school. The land was purchased for $106,000 from the township.

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