GIRARD -A new $26.5 million school complex to house junior and senior high students off Shannon Road is set to open Labor Day weekend for the 2010-2011 school year.
Girard Schools Superintendent Joseph Jeswald said the complex at 1244 Shannon Road will open Sept. 7 for the start of the new school year with a public open house being set for Sept. 4. Students in grades seventh to 12th grade will be housed in the school.
Construction on the exterior of the building began in March with interior work done during the winter months.
Photos by Bob Coupland / Girard Community News
A rendering of the new $26.5 million junior and senior high school complex being constructed off Shannon Road in Girard. A public open house and grand opening are scheduled for Labor Day weekend.
Jeswald said 80 percent of the funding for the complex, which sits on 25 acres, came from the Ohio Schools Facilities Commission's classroom assistance program with the local 20 percent share of $5.2 million coming from passage of a levy.
The two -story, 130,000-square-foot school has an octagonal-shaped front entrance where the principal and secretary offices are with the junior high classrooms in one area near the front of the building.
Jeswald's favorite room, the library, is located on the second floor directly above the principal offices in the same octagonal-shaped area with large windows allowing for natural light to come in.
Behind the classroom areas is the instrumental and vocal music and art rooms, guidance offices, and clinic and nurse's areas, which lead to the cafetorium. Behind the cafetorium are separate junior high and senior high gymnasium. Jeswald said at the back of the complex is the robotics, construction technology and computer rooms.
''The junior high has its own area on the first floor and its own gymnasium. Their section looks a little different than the high school to give the junior high its own identity,'' he said.
Jeswald said the cafetorium has its own side entrances where the public will be able to attend programs and band concerts.
''Most of the space for the new building was for the classrooms,'' he said. Jeswald said science labs were made larger and will be in their own separate area on the first floor.
He said hallways were also made larger. A unique feature on the stairways is the letter ''G''s that appear along the railings.
Plans are for a ''Hall of Fame'' area near the gymnasiums, he said.
The project was designed by Then Design with Mike Coates Construction as the general contractor.
Jeswald said behind the school is practice fields for sports and a three-lane track. There are 325 parking spaces around the building.
Also at the back of the complex is natural wetland areas which Jeswald said can be used by science classes.
The complex will replace the 86-year old current high school which saw additions over the years including the gymnasium in 1962 and in 1997 a junior high gymnasium and classrooms were added.
Jeswald said plans are for a final walk through and open house for the public from noon to 5 p.m. May 30 of the high school. There will also be a spaghetti dinner.