No public funds for Stow school addition

By Deborah Guziak Record-Courier staff writer Published:

"Not too many schools can say they can do something like this," said Mike Bridge, business manager of the district, referring to the cost-saving measures that enabled the district to add onto the high school without going to the taxpayers for funds.

The addition, which will cost $1.2 million, was about 20 percent less than expected. The district had allocated $1.5 million to pay for the addition with the money coming from several cost-saving measures the district has taken in the last few years, including an early teacher retirement buyout _ of which about 30 teachers participated _ that will save $1.9 million over five years.

A 12,000-square-foot, two-story addition will be added to the northeastern end of the building and include 10 classrooms, four on the second floor and six on the first floor. The building is currently 254,000 square feet.

A study will be done to determine what grades or courses will utilize the rooms, Bridge said.

The school, located on 93 acres of what was once a farm at the corner of Graham and Newcomer roads, was built for 1,800 students, Bridge said.

"Right now, we're just under 2,000," he said. "The growth wasn't foreseen. With the potential of a lot more homes being built in Stow, we're building to handle this."

According to the Stow planning department, there are 684 apartments and 89 condominiums currently under construction on Steels Corners Road and an additional 251 condominiums being built on Norton Road. The department also said that another condominium project had been brought before city council for study.

Although the board recently approved the bids for the architect and the construction of the addition, it decided last May to build the addition, said Jennifer Huffman, the school/community relations coordinator.

"There was a feasibility study done to address the needs of the district," Bridge said. "One of them showed an addition onto Kimpton (Middle School in Munroe Falls.) It was decided that this is what needed to be done."

The 10-room addition to the east side of the high school will include two science classrooms. The senior study hall will also be remodeled into two classrooms.

Construction on the addition is expected to begin as soon as possible and should be completed by the end of 1998.

The district had a large number of bidders for the project, and Braun & Steidl Architects of Akron were confirmed as the lowest bids for the job.

The board approved the following bids: $792,246, Caputo Martini Construction (general contract); $50,300, AAA Mechanical Services of Akron (plumbing); $9,213, Steingass Mechanical Contracting of Medina (fire protection); $246,800, AAA Mechanical Services (HVAC/heating and air conditioning); and $107,300, J.W. Didado Electric Inc. of Akron (electrical).

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