WASHINGTON COUNTY, Ohio (WTAP) - UPDATE: 01/17/2020
Construction on the new Warren Elementary School building began over the summer, and is scheduled to be ready for the next school year.
There are many exciting new features being put into the new building. The main focus is high security.
During lockouts, there will be doors that automatically shut so no one can enter certain hallways during that time.
Each grade will be separated into "pods" on different sides of the building. They will consist of one large main learning area, as well as several classrooms to split up in.
School officials are excited about the progress that was made, and cannot wait to show off the finished product.
"It's so important for our kids," said Kyle Newton, Superintendent of Warren Local Schools. "It is going to change our culture. Our parents, our kids are awesome. They deserve something like this. So, it's just, it's seriously going to change the educational climate of our community."
The building is on schedule for completion and to be open by the beginning of the 2020-21 school year.
The Ohio Controlling Board has approved an amendment increasing the construction cost of the Warren Local Schools building and renovation project by $4.3 million.
The state's share of the cost is now $3.1 million.
A statement from State Representative Jay Edwards' office says the funding increases are due to "market conditions and to complete additional work on the facilities"..
Ohio is helping out with the project through the state's Classroom Facilities Assistance Program.
If anything is a "pardon our dust" situation, it's the construction that will go on throughout Warren Local Schools' academic year.
There's a combined new elementary school building slated to be completed in a year, and a renovated high school to be finished in two years.
"We'll go from Little Hocking Elementary and Warren Elementary, and combine it into one large Warren Elementary," says Superintendent Kyle Newton.. "We're going to keep Building 6, and we're going to build a whole new high school, so the high school will move down into the parking lot area, so it will be a new high school."
Work began on the new elementary this past spring. It started this summer on the high school renovation.
When it's all finished, all of Warren's school buildings will be on the same site for the first time in the school district's nearly 60 years.
"The only thing that won't be on this site will be our bus garage," Newton says. "To house our 30-plus buses, and keep up their maintenance, that will continue to be at another location. But everything else will be on this campus."
In terms of square miles, the district is the 26th largest in Ohio. With all the buildings at one site, that often leads to concerns about the time involved transporting students to and from school. But Superintendent Newton says Warren anticipates only some modest changes in bus routes.
"We work really hard to get all of our students in a short amount of time. We run a lot of different routes to ensure that process."
One thing's for certain: Warren schools will take on a different look once this construction is completed.