Monday, September 17, 2001

Lebanon weighs high-school sites

Public can tour both locations, offer opinions

By Gina Buccino
Enquirer Contributor

        LEBANON — School officials are eager to learn where the public would like to build a new high school.

        In the next few weeks, a site will be selected for the school, which will be built to accommodate 1,400 students at a cost of about $32 million. The school is scheduled to open in fall 2004.

        The school will be built on 40 acres next to the existing high school on Ohio 48, or on 84 acres on Drake Road, north of the Miller Road bypass.

        Architects will submit their recommendations, listing the pros and cons of each site, by the end of September. Then the public will have the opportunity to visit each site and offer opinions.

        A tour of both sites will take place from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Oct. 13, followed by a telephone survey the next week.

        Superintendent Bill Sears does not favor one site over the other, saying that he is open to whatever the community decides.

        “I want a top-notch high school that will meet the needs of the students now and in the future,” Mr. Sears said.

        He said that once a site is selected, architects will submit designs during the first week of November.

        Teams from the community have been assembled to develop ideas for programming, communications and site selection for the new school. A master planning team also will review an assessment plan developed by the Ohio School Facilities Commission.

        The superintendent said he visualizes a high-tech facility with an excellent security system and lots of space for students to work in groups or independently.

        Classrooms will measure about 900 square feet, Mr. Sears said. He said students should not have to go to a lab to complete an assignment; technology should be in the classroom, including computers with Internet access to enhance research.

        The school will meet all standards for handicapped students, with wider doors to all rooms along with elevators and ramps.

        The superintendent added that officials, along with the community teams, have visited other school districts that have built schools recently to gather ideas. They'll share those ideas with the public.


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