Monday, May 14, 2001

School looks at new sites




By Sue Kiesewetter
Enquirer Contributor

        HAMILTON - A 30-acre tract at Washington Boulevard and W. Elkton might become the site of Hamilton's first ninth-grade building.

        The board of education recently authorized spending $10,000 for an option to purchase the land, said Robert Hancock, Hamilton Schools' treasurer. Under the agreement the board of education has until Oct. 1 to close on the land or forfeit the earnest money.

        “This was the most desirable location,” said Joni Copas, spokeswoman for the Hamilton Schools. “It was close to the high school and has the land we need.”

        Building a freshman school is part of a 10-year, $158.9 million master facilities plan approved by the Hamilton Board of Education earlier this year.

        It calls for replacing Hamilton's 14 elementary schools with nine new buildings, moving freshmen into their own school and dividing seventh- and eighth- graders between Garfield and Wilson junior high schools.

        Plans call for an 119,572-square-foot building that would house about 716 freshmen. The cost is estimated at about $16.7 million. The site is large enough that another school or athletic facilities could later be built there if the community desired, Mr. Hancock said.

        A committee also is looking at existing school sites and three pieces of property the district owns, before deciding.

        The district owns 8 1/4 acres on Mark Avenue; 9 acres on Smalley Boulevard and 11 acres on Timberhill Drive, Mrs. Copas said.

        The cost of the master plan will be divided between the school board and the state on a 41-59 split. Hamilton's share will come from a $45 million bond issue voters approved two years ago.

       



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