Design phase for Indian Creek schools wraps up

MINGO JUNCTION — Construction and renovation plans are advancing for facilities in the Indian Creek Local School District with final designs to be addressed at an upcoming school board meeting.

Representatives of North Canton-based Sol Harris/Day Architecture will attend the Dec. 19 regular session at 6 p.m. at Indian Creek Middle School in Mingo Junction, where plans will be discussed for the new Indian Creek High School and Cross Creek Elementary buildings. Board members are expected to approve the designs and pave the way for the projects to go out to bid.

Superintendent T.C. Chappelear said bids should be taken this winter with groundbreaking eyed for spring.

“This is a presentation on the current designs of the two new buildings and the renovation of Hills Elementary,” he explained. “The significance of this meeting is that the board will approve the budget and designs, completing the design development phase. It is the finalization of the designs, and once this is approved by the board we will be putting together bids for the construction manager to prepare bid packages.”

Chappelear noted that construction manager Hammond Construction Inc. of Canton was handling the project and bids should be out during the first few months of 2020 with the groundbreaking set for April. He was pleased to see the process advancing while some other matters will be addressed.

“There will be a lot of planning on the finer details such as furniture and technology, but by and large the buildings will be designed and ready for bid.”

An estimated $63 million project is under way in collaboration with the Ohio Facilities Construction Commission to erect a new, two-story high school at the current ICHS campus while Wintersville Elementary will be razed with another two-story building created at the current district office site on Bantam Ridge Road in Cross Creek Township.

The new school will be called Cross Creek Elementary and will feature a secure vestibule outside the main office with the preschool housed in the front of the building with its own playground, while the kindergarten and first-grade classes will be located on the lower floor with the second- to fourth-grade classrooms on the upper level. A separate playground will be constructed at the rear of the building for the upper classes to utilize.

Students also will share a cafeteria/commons area, small group rooms and tiered seating area for classes and presentations, a media center and an auditorium which connects to the band room for music classes. Additionally, the softball field will be moved with a Little League ballfield to be built on the grounds. School board members announced the new school name during the November session, saying the moniker paid homage to the district’s past and marries together the three communities of Bloomingdale, Wintersville and Mingo Junction.

Meanwhile, the new high school will incorporate classrooms with collaboration areas for a more modern look as well as a gymnasium, an estimated 800-seat auditorium, cafeteria/commons area, cafe-style library and band room with locker room facilities available for gym classes and sporting events.

The present band room would be converted into a multipurpose building and the older high school structure would remain in use throughout the construction phase, but will be demolished later. In addition, Hills Elementary in Mingo Junction will be updated with new HVAC, plumbing, office and classroom space and security-related amenities.

All of the work comes on the heels of voters approving a levy last year, which led to the subsequent sale of bonds and the Ohio School Facilities Commission also providing an $18 million share. Officials said the schools should be completed when students return to class in the fall of 2021.