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05-06-03: Board to unveil Coldwater school plans
The Daily Standard

    COLDWATER - Residents in the Coldwater Exempted Village Schools district can get their first glimpse Wednesday of what the existing building complex might look like after $30.5 million in renovations and new construction.
    A special school board meeting is set for 7 p.m. in the high school commons area. Architects from Fanning/Howey Associates, Celina, will show a potential floor plan, overall site plan and even some three-dimensional drawings of what the newly constructed areas could look like.
    A 15-member building committee made up of school board members, district employees and community residents has been working with building designers since shortly after last year's passage of a 6.1-mill property tax issue to help fund the improvements.
    The district is paying for $9.5 million of the project with the Ohio School Facilities Commission (OSFC) picking up the remaining $21 million.
    Working with the building committee has been "a real positive experience," Superintendent Eric Hoffman said. "I think people will be happy with what they see." Preliminary design
    The preliminary plans could still change, based on school board and community input, Architect Curt South said. However, the current design is an accurate portrayal of how engineers and architects will combine the existing structures into a single building, he said.
    "There are challenges involved with this type of design but it's nothing we haven't seen before," South said.
    South said the preliminary floor plan will be explained to those who attend the meeting. A proposed plan for locating elementary, junior high, high school and vocational classroom space within the revamped structure will be detailed, including how the total of 47,000 square feet of new classroom space will affect each area, South said.
    Architects also will show a potential site plan with parking and other surrounding facilities, South said. Some 3-D drawings will give residents a glimpse of how new construction will look from the outside of the building, he said.
    The design process is just about 30 percent complete, South said.
    "What we have to do now is make some decisions from an architectural standpoint," so the building design can be further solidified and given more detail, South said.
    After school board members, the OSFC, the state's project manager and architects come to an agreement on a design, architects can finalize plans and begin working on final construction drawings, South said.
    The OSFC and project manager are reviewing the current set of plans. Timeline
    The timeline for completion of the work remains tentative but school district officials are hoping to have all new facilities and renovation finished to begin the 2005 school year. Plans already are in place for Coldwater to house its fifth- and sixth-graders - about 250 students - at the Franklin Elementary building the district is leasing from Celina City Schools. Moving some students off the building site is expected to make construction easier and possibly speed the completion of the project.


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