November 21, 2014

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Avon City Council OKs plans for $34 million middle school

avon middle rendering

Rendering of new Avon Middle School. CHRONICLE FILE PHOTO

AVON – City Council approved plans for a new middle school during its meeting Monday night.

Superintendent Mike Laub said construction now can begin on the 160,000-square-foot facility. Plans for the $34 million building were released to the public in May and include two academic wings with learning labs and a cafeteria, gymnasium and administrative offices.

The school district has worked with Lesko Architecture, a Cleveland firm, to render plans for the new facility, but Laub said the planning phase was not without its challenges. The district had to mitigate wetlands and work around a ditch at 3445 Long Road, where the middle school will be built.

Laub thanked City Council during its meeting Monday, saying that the middle school is sorely needed.

The existing middle school, which was built to hold 550 students, holds more than 700 students, according to Laub. The Heritage campus, housing third- through sixth-graders, is beginning to overcrowd, he added.

The new middle school, which is expected to be completed in May 2015, will hold students in grades six through eight to alleviate overcrowding at both facilities.

The project will be paid for through a no-new-tax-rate bond issue approved by voters in November that restructures the district’s bond debt and enables homeowners to continue paying the same 5.3 mills they have been paying for a $12.9 million, 25-year bond issue approved in 1996 to build the city’s new high school.

The 1996 bond issue decreased over time to 5.3 mills as the amount owed was spread among the city’s growing population, Avon Schools Treasurer Kent Zeman has said.

Contact Chelsea Miller at 329-7123 or cmiller@chroniclet.com.