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Students celebrate new school construction
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By Carol McIntire
Eleven members of the Carrollton High School Class of 2034 moved the first shovels of dirt for the new Carrollton elementary building last week.
The students, who are first grade students this year, will be the first class to occupy the new school building when it opens for the 2025-26 school year. Clad in hard hats bearing the Carrollton “C” on the front and carrying plastic shovels, the kids “dug” into the dirt pile and happily tossed shovels ofdirt in the air.
Carrollton Schools Assistant Superintendent Andy Reeves opened the groundbreaking ceremony in the new amphitheater, saying the event gave the district “a chance to show off the new pavilion.”
“It’s beautiful, isn’t it?” he said to the crowd gathered at the south end of the high school/middle school, adjacent to the site of the new elementary school.
School board President Dan Ries noted when the building is complete, it will be the first time in the history of the district that all students will be under one roof.
“It’s hard to believe, but at one time there were 11 buildings in the district,” he said.
Ries recalled the meeting when the school board voted to move forward with the construction of the high school/middle school complex – May 11, 2021.
“It was Ed Robinson’s birthday,” he said, recalling the last time he saw the district’s director of programs.
“I was sitting beside him. When the board voted, he leaned over and said, ‘this is the best birthday present you could give me.’ He died three days later. So, happy birthday Ed,” Ries said looking to the sky. Robinson was a huge advcate for the construction of a school that would house all children in the district andoversaw the construction process, meeting daily with the general contractor.
Rob Blatchford, president of Lesko Architects praised the district for its foresight when his firm was contracted to design the building.
“We started working with the district in 2016,” he said standing on the amphitheater floor. “This board had the foresight to have us design the whole building. It was important so that now the new building will fit in with the layout.”
“What a great night to be a Warrior!” said Superintendent Dave Davis as he took his turn at the podium.
Davis, as always, didn’t pass up the opportunity to encourage the crowd to pay it forward. “As Emerson tells us, we can so seldom pay back so we must pay forward, line for line and deed for deed.”
He suggested those involved in building the former high school and the elementary school on 2nd St. paid it forward when the buildings were designed.
“They had the foresight to build a building over a century ago (1912) to educate the children of the community. We are here today to do just that again.”
Board of education members, administration and representatives of companies involved in the construction of the new building took turns tossing dirt following first grade students.
Green Space, a construction company from Warrensville Heights, is the general contractor for the $22,930,268 project. The state is providing 49 percent of the cost, $9,346,788, with the local share of $13,450,255 provided by the 2 mills of inside millage the school board approved moving to the project a couple years ago. Those who pay real estate taxes in Carroll County are replacing the two mills in the form of increased taxes.
The 63,414 square foot building will mimic the high school/middle school in design with the same exterior features (brick, windows, etc.). The two-story structure will include five classrooms per grade (kindergarten through fourth), preschool rooms and art and music rooms.
There is no gymnasium.
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