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Bantam Ridge school open to public one last time

WINTERSVILLE — The Bantam Ridge school building will be open to the public one final time before demolition on a part of it begins, officials with the Indian Creek Local School District said.

Assistant Superintendent John Belt said the building will be open from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday to give area resident a glimpse of the structure along Bantam Ridge Road in Wintersville, which operated schools from 1955-2012 and currently houses the school district offices. A section of the building which lodged Head Start preschool classrooms, the Jefferson County Ohio State University Extension Office and Soil and Water Conservation District will be removed in the coming months to create an access road for construction of the new Cross Creek Elementary School.

“It’s open to the community to walk through the building. A lot of area residents either attended this school or had children or grandchildren come here,” Belt said. “It will give the community a final opportunity to go down memory lane before we tear the building down.”

Similar events will be held in the future at Wintersville Elementary and Indian Creek High School. Meanwhile, the affected section of the Bantam Ridge building that lodged classrooms, offices and the gymnasium will be razed starting Feb. 24 and construction manager Hammond Construction Inc. of Canton has bid out the abatement and demolition project to a subcontractor.

“It will all come down to make way for the elementary school,” Belt added. “They should be starting pre-site work around the time they do the demolition and the official groundbreaking for the new buildings will be in April.”

Sol Harris/Day Architecture Inc. of North Canton is completing designs for the new Indian Creek High School and Cross Creek Elementary in Wintersville plus updates at Hills Elementary in Mingo Junction.

The estimated $63 million project is being done in collaboration with the Ohio Facilities Construction Commission and the buildings should be ready for fall of 2021.

The new Indian Creek High School will be located next to Robert Kettlewell Memorial Stadium on the Wintersville campus, while the current high school, Wintersville Elementary School and stadium will remain operational for much of the construction period. Additionally, Hills Elementary will undergo an estimated $10 million renovation and will receive new windows, roofing and classrooms as well as plumbing, heating and cooling upgrades.

Officials said the main project bids will be accepted later this month with awards eyed in March.

Work would immediately follow and last through July 2021.

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