Tribune Chronicle Feature - Saturday, March 24, 2018
Champion Staff Tour New School Complex
by Bob Coupland
CHAMPION — Champion Central Elementary School kindergarten teachers said they were thrilled to see the large classrooms they will have next school year in the new PK-8 School under construction off state Route 45.
Teachers and other staff from Champion’s three buildings had the chance Friday to tour the new school complex that is set to be completed this summer for the start of the 2018-19 year.
Students and staff will be moving in August into the new $31 million building south of Champion High School, which houses ninth to 12th grades.
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.
Central Elementary Principal Alexandra Nannicola said Friday was a chance for teachers to see their classrooms and other staff to see the offices, cafeteria, nurse’s office, band room, gymnasium and other rooms.
“This is the first time they have been here to see their classrooms,” Nannicola said, noting all classrooms will be much bigger than the current ones.
She said each grade level will be together with separate classrooms that can be joined by movable walls and a central pod area.
Scott Neill, project manager with Hammond Construction of Canton, said work was done on the interior of the complex in the winter with additional outdoor work to be done this spring and summer.
Neill said the cafetorium in the center of the building has LED and sky lighting, creating brightness and can house 330 students.
Nannicola said the school has two separate gymnasiums. The “Purple Gym” is for grades five to eight and the “Gold Gym” is for kindergarten to fourth grade, but after hours they can be used by all grades.
“Both gyms are exactly the same and can be used for practices and games by all students,” she said.
The four kindergarten teachers who have classes of 28 or 29 students each were excited to see their own section with large classrooms.
“I can’t wait to be in the new classroom. This is huge compared to my room. The children will be so excited,” said teacher Brittany Cornelius.
“We look forward to the students experiencing the new school,” teacher Samantha Miller said.
Teacher Erin Jordan said she likes the commons area and work space areas outside the kindergarten classrooms.
“I am very excited how the classrooms were made and having movable walls,” said first-grade teacher Melanie Basalyga.
At the end of the school year, 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.
The current Central Elementary, 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.
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.
A grand opening for the new school is Aug. 20 with a program and dedication to be held for the public 5:30 to 6:15 p.m. with the complex open following the ceremony until 7:30 p.m.
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.
Hammond Construction of Akron is project contractor, and BSHM Architects of Youngstown is project architect.
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.