Manchester plans to start a new high school next fall

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NEW FRANKLIN – Local school officials in Manchester announced at a community meeting on December 2 that they hope to open the district’s new high school next fall.
During the meeting, district officials and representatives from FMD Architects and Shook Construction provided an update on the district’s facility plans.
In November 2019, voters approved a 36-year, $ 8.28 million bond issue, which will generate $ 34 million for the district. The plans are to use the funds to build a new secondary school, renovate the current secondary school into a primary school, raze the Nolley Primary School and the old Nimisila Middle School, and build sports facilities.
The district is partnering with the Ohio Facilities Construction Commission, which will co-finance 44% of the cost of building the new high school and demolishing the Nolley and Nimisila buildings.
Manchester Superintendent Shaun Morgan said district officials have considered hooking up water and sewage to the new high school building.
“We have looked at it and it is not something we can do economically,” he said.
The building will use on-site utilities, as it will be connected to the existing wastewater treatment plant used by the existing high school, which has additional capacity, according to district officials.
Morgan said the facility plans are on time and the plan is for the new high school to open for the 2024-25 school year. The new two-story high school will include a cafeteria, which allows for shared space for the cafeteria and auditorium. This design has also been incorporated into the new High School in Coventry and allows for the construction of a full auditorium, with seats that can be removed for the auditorium.
The new high school is expected to be built just north of the existing high school where the current baseball field is located.
Morgan said district officials face a design challenge as the current design for the new high school is over budget due to increased costs for labor and materials. Manchester Education Council chairman Joe Hercules added the school was about 20% over budget.
Morgan said the design will be revisited and some of the changes that district officials are considering include having a flat roof instead of a pitched roof and reducing the school’s footprint by adding space to the school. first floor to second floor.
“I still believe we’re going to get there,” Morgan said of the design changes to keep the project on budget.
Once the new high school is built, renovations will begin on the existing high school to convert the space into a primary school. District officials estimate the renovations will take around a year and allow fifth-graders to move from Manchester Middle School to primary school.
The final stages of the facilities projects will be the construction of new sports facilities and the demolition of the Nolley and Nimisila buildings. Hercules said the district’s hope is to lower its operating costs once the installation projects are completed.
At the community meeting, several residents asked about the plans, including if there were any plans for the college. Hercules said the bond issuance does not include upgrades for this school.
Manchester Services Director Michael Stafford said the biggest issue at the college was space, with temporary trailers being used to increase classroom space. He said that once the fifth grade classes move to the primary school, there will be additional space in the building available.
Stafford added that district officials have gradually improved the college and will continue to move forward.
For updates on installation projects, visit panthercountry.org and click on “construction and facilities updates”.

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