As published in Toledo Business Journal - February 1, 2019

Rendering of Sandusky City School’s planned Hancock PK-K school

Rendering of Sandusky City School’s planned Hancock PK-K school

SCS investing $70.5M in Sandusky

Project includes the construction of three new school buildings

Sandusky City Schools (SCS), as part of the master plan developed by the district, is investing over $70.5 million to consolidate and re-align the existing PK-5 and PK-6 grade level schools into a new PK-K Hancock School, a new 1-2 Ontario School, and a new 3-6 Intermediate School building.

Kerstyn Pou, marketing and communications specialist for SCS, said, “The existing aging facilities need extensive and costly repair and renovations. In addition, the primary goal of the district’s transformation plan is to dramatically redefine the delivery of academics and educational services to position our students to compete on a global level. The outdated buildings no longer support today’s teaching strategies, collaborative learning, and integrated technology, and new facilities are needed in order to support and enhance student-centered and project-based learning and instruction.”

The planned start date for the construction of the new Ontario Primary and Intermediate Schools is spring 2019, and they are scheduled to open in August of 2020. Hancock PK-K School will begin construction following the demolition of the existing Hancock School in August 2020. Pou noted that the architect is Lesko Associates, Inc., a school facilities firm located in Westlake, Ohio. The district is currently in the process of securing the services of a construction manager at risk (CMR) who will be the general contractor.

“One of the district’s primary goals is to aggressively engage local vendors in the construction and facilities market. The project team has provided forums for local vendors to get familiar with the projects and the CMR will be tasked to reach out to local businesses and develop bid packages to enhance opportunities for them to participate,” said Pou.

Hancock PK-K School

Built on the existing Hancock site, the new 56,646 square foot PK-K School is designed for 367 students and will accommodate the district’s entire preschool student population, noted Pou. The school is designed as a single-story building with the classroom wing organized around a courtyard that will be used as a secure outdoor play area. Core spaces, including the gymnasium, cafeteria, and stage, are located near the front of the building adjacent to the administration offices and main entrance. This will allow the academic wing to be secured during after school activities.

In total, there will be five pre-kindergarten classrooms, 11 kindergarten classrooms, two special education classrooms, a computer lab, a kinesthetic learning studio, an art room, and a music room.

Rendering of the planned Ontario Primary 1-2 School

Rendering of the planned Ontario Primary 1-2 School

Ontario Primary 1-2 School

According to Pou, the 548-student school, totaling 67,282 square feet, is designed with a two-story classroom wing toward the front of the building that accommodates the first grade on the main floor and the second grade program on the second floor. The gymnasium, student dining, and stage are located toward the back of the building adjacent to staff and public parking for easy access to after school activities. As in the other new buildings, this also allows for the academic wing to be secured during after school community use of the building.

In order to provide space that can accommodate student-centered learning and instruction, each grade level has an extended learning area (ELA). These spaces are centrally located and surrounded by four classrooms and are designed to be flexible and adaptable with furniture that can be easily rearranged in different configurations to accommodate various group sizes and activities.

In total, there will be 22 classrooms, seven special education classrooms, a computer lab, an art room, and a music room.

3-6 Intermediate School

The new 990 student school, totaling 141,591 square feet, is located adjacent to the existing middle / high school. This provides opportunities for shared resources and services between the two buildings, noted Pou. The district enhanced the school with additional local funds to provide for a larger competition gymnasium, two STEAM Labs and a Global Education Center (GEC). The GEC provides structured and unstructured space for students, faculty and staff, access to technology for blended learning, and space for professional development.

The plan of the 3-6 School is organized around a central core that includes the main entrance, administration offices, cafeteria, stage, and the gymnasium. The two, two-story academic wings extend out from the central core with grades three and four on the first floor and grades five and six on the second floor.

In total, there will be 38 classrooms, nine special education classrooms, three computer labs, three project labs, two art rooms, two music rooms, two STEAM labs, and the Global Education Center.

“Common to all the new schools is enhanced security. In addition to camera surveillance and electronic access control, the administration offices are located adjacent to the main entry for greater security. When the building is locked during the school day, visitors must first be let in to the secure vestibule and then to the reception area in order to enter the school building,” said Pou.

Pou also noted that in each school, the entire building will have wireless access to technology at four devices per person, all classrooms will have enhanced sound reinforcement systems, and each will have interactive projectors in classrooms for collaborative learning.

When speaking of the energy efficiency of the buildings, Pou said, “All state co-funded school facilities projects are required to be LEED Silver certified. This is an international green building rating system that provides a framework to create healthy, highly efficient, and cost-saving green buildings.”

Some of the things incorporated into the buildings to make them more energy efficient include:

The project is co-funded by SCS and the State’s Ohio Facilities Construction Commission (OFCC). In addition, SCS has added local funds to the project to provide for additional space in the new schools, as well as renovations at the middle / high school.

The total project budget is $70,512,198.08. The breakdown of costs includes: district co-funded share (36%): $19,804,048.92; the State co-funded share (64%): $35,207,198.08; and district locally funded initiatives (LFI) $15,500,951.08.

“These new facilities represent a public investment in the City of Sandusky. By putting their trust in Sandusky City Schools, voters approved the largest school facilities project in our city’s 200-year history. This investment provides our children access to 21st century learning opportunities and our new Rotary International Global Education Center will open many doors for our students, as well as provide an opportunity for the adults in our community to further their education. Each new building will serve as an anchor in the neighborhoods in which they are constructed and they will help strengthen those communities,” concluded Pou.


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