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North Royalton City Schools' Taskforce Begins Discussion on Development of Plan for District's Facilities
On Saturday, November 21, the North Royalton City Schools’ Community Engagement Taskforce members met to recap the numerous community conversations that have been held over the past few months and begin considering options for moving forward in addressing the district’s facilities. They took all of the feedback and comments and began formulating ideas to present to the Board of Education, administration, and community.

“It was clear from our conversations that the community is interested in either updating our current facilities or building new school buildings,” said Chairperson Vince Weimer. “Once we obtained numbers for both, the committee is moving in the direction to propose building new elementary schools, as well as portions of the high school. It does not make sense financially to simply renovate.” Whether the district should build one, two or three new elementary buildings is still being considered.

“The main findings of our taskforce members is that a basic renovation of the three elementary buildings (not including any additional 21st century learning space) would be more costly than new construction,” said Weimer.

Based on the Ohio Facilities Construction Commission (OFCC) report to the district, renovation of Albion Elementary would be $10.46 million. To build a new school, based on square footage similar to the current building, the cost would be approximately $11 million. This would be the case with the other two buildings roughly in the same condition with the same estimates. “When looking at numbers like this to build new vs. renovate existing structures, the committee must consider its options in building new.” The committee then began to discuss the educational benefits of building one, two, or three elementary buildings. Their findings discovered that building one school that would be home to preschool through fourth grade can cost approximately $32.2 million. Two elementary buildings can cost approximately $36.1 million. If the district builds three new elementary buildings, that can cost approximately $39.6 million.

The committee also discussed the high school. First suggestions include renovating the 1976 and 1988 additions and building a new structure for the rest of the school building. “This option was discussed because once again, when weighing the cost of renovating vs. new, it makes more sense economically to build new,” said Weimer.

An important factor that will be included in any plan that the taskforce recommends to the community is a maintenance program. “Implementing on-going permanent improvement dollars to maintain our investment is critical,” said Weimer.

“We can’t emphasize enough that these numbers or initial thoughts are not set in stone,” said Weimer. “They are rough estimates based on square footage and can increase or decrease depending on a variety of circumstances and the plan that we propose.”

The taskforce continues to gather input from the community through its coffees and conversation that will go to the end of December. They also will meet once more in December as a group to continue their dialogue. The taskforce will report to the board and community in late January/early February.