January 22, 2018
Bob Coupland - Reporter
Champion students get to learn school construction process
Champion Central Elementary principal Alexandra Nannicola speaks
to students during an assembly featuring information about the
construction project on the new PK-8 school off state route 45.
CHAMPION — Getting to jump on topsoil and compacted clay was just one way Champion Central Elementary School students recently learned of the process to build a new school.
Representatives of Hammond Construction of Akron, project contractor, which is building a new $31.3 million PK-8 school off state Route 45, met with kindergarten to fourth-grade students and staff last week to show what has taken place on the school.
This spring will be the last time students go to classes at the century-old Central building as they move into the new complex for the 2018-19 school year. The complex will also house grades five through eight who are attending the middle school.
Students clapped and ”oohed” and ”aahed” as they saw what the new school will look like through a drone’s air view of the construction site shown during an assembly Friday.
Bill Schurman, president of Hammond Construction, told the students: “We get to build your new school which is super exciting for us.”
He compared the school similar to children using Legos.
”Just as you follow instruction to build with Legos, we had architects design plans for us,” Schurman said holding large manual.
Schurman said the company had input from school officials, teachers, principals and others on what they would like the school to have.
”One important question was ”Where to build the school?” The perfect place was next to the other (high) school, so they are all together,” he said.
Kim Adams, director of communications for Hammond Construction, had students come to the gym stage and stand and jump up and down in a container with topsoil and another with compacted clay. She asked participants which surface would be better to build a school on.
Children quickly answered compacted clay, which stayed together when they jumped on it.
Fourth-grader Jacob Beasley, 10, left, stands in topsoil and
third-grader Zoe Clingan, 9, right, stands in compacted clay,
while Kim Adams, center, Director of Communications for
Hammond Construction of Akron, explains the different types
of soil used in the construction process.
Sabrina Boggs, 7, first grade, who stood on the topsoil, said it was softer and easy to jump on, while Evan Potyonek, 7, first grade, stood in compacted clay and said while he had fun jumping on it, noted it was harder to move.
Adams said the topsoil is removed and then the compacted clay below the surface is used for building a large school on. Adams said the drones are used for showing workers that the school is being built correctly.
The new school complex is now under roof for the winter months, with work being done on the interior such as painting, cabinetry and ceiling installation, which has temporary heat for the crews. When the weather gets warmer in the spring, the remaining outdoor work will be completed.
Project officials said they plan to involve students with different aspects of the project, which have included signing their names on beams.
BSHM Architects of Youngstown, project architect, designed the complex with two sections, one for grades PK-4 on the eastern side and grades five to eight on the western side of the property near state Route 45. They will be separated by offices, a cafeteria and gymnasiums.
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.
Central Elementary Principal Alexandra Nannicola, wearing a hardhat, said the students and staff are excited to know they will be moving to the new school. Later this year, Central Elementary and the middle school on Alva Avenue NW will be demolished.