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Belpre City Schools proposing new plans to build new schools

Published: Nov. 18, 2021 at 7:41 PM EST
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BELPRE, Ohio (WTAP) - On November 3, Belpre City Schools’ Superintendent Jeff Greenley hosted a town hall announcing a proposed project to tear down and rebuild Belpre Elementary and High Schools.

During the Board of Education meeting on November 15, Greenley and the board met to consider the Master Facility Plan recommendation along with hearing public comments from the Belpre community. So far, Greenley said they had received positive feedback from the community.

“Our current footprint was designed in 1958, and it’s 2021,” Greenley said. “The needs that we have now from what our current facilities are is interesting because my job and the board’s job is to think about a Master Facility Plan that will work in 2021, but that will also work in 2051 because this is the time where the community is going to make its investments, and that’s why we appreciate the feedback and the work that the committee has done because we got to make sure we get this right.”

The proposed plan is to build two new school buildings on the same plot of land as Belpre High School in two phases.

Phase one would consist of a new building for grades 6 through 12. The new and old schools would share a space while the new school is being built. Phase two would take on a new wing of the building to house PK through 5th grade. The new wing would be built on the same plot of land the old high school is on currently.

Greenley said the board and him believe this new change is exactly what Belpre City Schools needs to have to continue supporting its students...

“You know the 21st century has different needs than the needs of the 20th century and a lot of things in our school system is still based on, are from the bygone era and so as we continue to build 21st-century skills in students, you know a 21st-century facility is the next step in that should the community believe that is the way to go,” Greenley said.

Greenley said the board is in the process of finalizing a resolution for the Master Facility Plan, which it will consider at its next meeting on November 29. The board will also present a tentative cost of the project.

On its December 13th meeting, Greenley said the board would then vote again on the final resolution. If the resolution passes, it will be added to the ballot and voted on in the May 2022 primary election.

If it makes its way onto the ballot in May 2022, the proposed timeline for the project would be one year to design and two years to build. The project’s first phase would be done by 2025, and Phase 2 completed some time after that.

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