FAIRBORN — The construction of two new spacious school buildings in the Fairborn City School District is moving closer to reality now that the schematic design for Fairborn Primary School is completed and has been turned over to Hill International, the owner agent representing the school district.
Todd Thackery, vice president of architecture for SHP Leading Design, presented an update on the schematic design of the Fairborn Primary School and the predesign of the Fairborn Intermediate School to school board members during the Oct. 5 school board meeting. The Cincinnati-based firm is overseeing the design of the district’s building construction projects.
The design plan for the new primary school building, which will replace the Fairborn Primary School or former Five Points Elementary School facility, calls for a 130,444-square-foot, two-story building that will house 1,214 students attending preschool through second grade.
The construction project comes with a projected price tag of $27,386,758.90, which will include the costs for playground equipment, a gymnasium, furniture and the technology infrastructure. The plan also includes the demolition of the Five Points Elementary School building following construction and an interim period to make room for additional parking.
Thackery also provided a projected timeline for the project. The design phase will continue through August 2018, and early site work is expected to begin in the summer of 2018 as well. Permitting will begin and the project will go out for bid in fall 2018. Building construction is scheduled to commence in December 2018 and is expected to be completed by spring 2020. Move-in is set for August.
Thackery said the design parameters of the new primary school building would provide a personalized learning environment to the students.
“We asked how we could make big seem little,” Thackery said. “We did this by organizing classrooms into learning communities and minimizing travel distances to services and adjacent communities.”
Each of the six learning communities will consist of eight classrooms and one special education classroom. The eight classrooms within the learning community will be connected to an adjoining classroom that will share a small-group resource room, located adjacent to each pair of classrooms.
“We are pairing classrooms so teachers can team teach and work together,” Thackery said.
The classroom community will be organized around a small, distributed media center that will replace the large library system. It will provide the students with access to technology resources and a variety of books. The primary school will also have a 7,000-square-foot gymnasium and a cafetorium with a stage and flexible furnishings, which will be used as both a cafeteria and auditorium. The delegated areas for music and art classes, as well as the preschool classrooms, will be 1,080 square feet. Classrooms for kindergarten through second grade will be 860 square feet in size.
“The gymnasium is big enough to have a have a full-size basketball court in it. This gym is also a storm shelter that is sized to accommodate 1,400 people during a storm event with winds of 250 miles per hour or a F5 tornado,” Thackery said. “It will have tornado doors. There will also be restrooms off from the gym that will be part of the storm shelter and will provide restroom access for those occupants. It is a serious structure.”
Thackery said the next phase of the primary school construction project is the design development phase, which is also known as the contract document phase.
“This phase will consist of refining and working out the details,” Thackery said.
The new 100,497-square-foot Fairborn Intermediate School building, which will replace the current facility also known as Palmer-South Elementary School, will house third through fifth grade students and cost $50,984,299.03. The predesign plan includes the demolition of Palmer-South Elementary School prior to the construction of the new intermediate school. During this interim period, students will attend classes at the current Fairborn Primary or Five Points Elementary School building.
The design phase of the project will continue through the fall of 2019. Permitting and bidding are scheduled for the fall and winter of 2019. The school district is looking at vacating the Fairborn Intermediate or Palmer-South Elementary School building in summer 2020. Construction of the new intermediate school building is scheduled to begin in September 2020. District officials are anticipating that the building construction project will be completed by spring 2022.
Thackery also noted that the input of school staff and faculty has and will continue to be included during the design process.
Local voters approved the funding of the construction of the new school buildings last November when a 2.95-mill bond levy passed by nearly 60 percent of the cast votes.
Linda Collins is a freelance writer for Greene County News.