Champion schools prepare for closing of two buildings

CHAMPION — Members of the Champion Board of Education spent their meeting Monday sitting in the Champion Central Elementary School gymnasium marking the last time the board will hold meetings in the 100-year-old school.

At the end of the school year, the elementary school, north of state Routes 305 and 45, and Champion Middle School off Alva Avenue, will be closed and are set for demolition in late summer. Students and staff will be moving in August into a new $31 million PK-8 building off Route 45, south of Champion High School.

A farewell tribute is being planned 5:30 p.m. May 24 for both buildings, with the public being able to tour the two buildings from 3:30 to 5:15 p.m. that day for “one last look.”

Champion Schools Superintendent Pamela Hood said the board on Monday also had a tour of the kindergarten-to-fourth-grade school prior to the meeting. At the meeting, Central Principal Alexandra Nannicola and some staff and students showcased highlights of events at the school.

“This is chance for each of the school buildings to show the board what has been taking place during the school year,” Hood said.

Next month’s meeting will be March 19 at Champion Middle School to highlight that building and activities.

Hood said after the school year ends, staff items and supplies will be moved from the elementary and middle schools to the new school complex.

Basinger Auctioneer is planning an auction of school items in the two buildings for part of June and July.

“Once those buildings have been auctioned out, then the abatement will start and the buildings locked down. The buildings will be taken down in August,” Hood said.

A grand opening for the new school is Aug. 20, which will be the first day of school for teachers. A program and dedication will be held for the public 5:30 to 6:15 p.m. with the complex open following the ceremony until 7:30 p.m.

“We will open the building up for tours that day. Everyone will be able to have a walk through of the new school before the students start,” Hood said.

Plans are for teachers, who will be moving to the new complex, to spend time on March 23 touring the school on an early release day for students.

Hood said the public will have one more opportunity, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. May 5, to view the school complex. After that, the next time for public viewing inside will be Aug. 20.

The new school has one section for preschool to fourth grades on the eastern side and the other for fifth to eighth grades on the western side closest to state Route 45. There will be separate offices, cafeterias and gymnasiums.

Hammond Construction of Akron is project contractor, and BSHM Architects of Youngstown is project architect. Interior work continued over the winter and as weather gets warmer, the remaining outdoor work will continue.

Voters approved a 4.4-mill bond issue to raise $13.8 million, the district’s share of the project. The Ohio School Facilities Commission’s Facilities Assistance Program is paying $17.5 million.

bcoupland@tribtoday.com

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