Monday, October 08, 2001

Little Miami asks state advice on building

By Gina Buccino
Enquirer Contributor

        MORROW — The Little Miami Board of Education, looking toward continued growth, will ask the Ohio Facilities Commission for an evaluation of the elementary, intermediate and junior high schools.

        Superintendent Ralph Shell said the board wants to determine whether the schools need to be rebuilt or renovated to meet the district's future needs. The population of Hamilton Township, for example, reached 9,630, in the 2000 Census.

        There are a total 2,798 students in the district's schools. They include Hamilton-Maineville, Morrow Elementary and Harlan-Butlerville for kindergarten through fourth grade; Little Miami Intermediate (grades five and six), Little Miami Junior High School (seventh and eighth), and the new Little Miami High School in Hamilton Township.

        Mr. Shell said the district covers 98 square miles and has acreage available for development.

        Mr. Shell said that the state commission works with a team of architects, construction managers and school personnel to assess the condition of school buildings. The Legislature sets funds aside and hires professionals to work on behalf of school districts, saving local taxpayers the cost of such studies.

        In 1997, a $17.6 million bond issue was passed by voters for minor renovations and to build the high school. Mr. Shell said $17 million was earmarked for the high school.

        Proposed for spring 2002 is the renewal of an emergency operating levy and for fall 2002, a bond issue for renovations or new construction.

        Mr. Shell added that if the committee recommends new construction, a committee of parents, community and business leaders and school district representatives will be formed to determine the location of the new schools.

        Mr. Shell said the goal is to provide a safe and comfortable learning environment.

        “Specifically, I find it reasonable to expect that our schools would have sprinkler systems, better door locking systems, adequate lighting, the latest in technology and climate control that will allow our students to keep their focus on learning,” he said.


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