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Residents Will be In the Loop during Middle School Construction

District plans public meetings, an oversight committee

 

Strongsville school officials are promising to keep residents involved in the building of a new middle school.

Business Manager Mark Donnelly said the district will host two meetings -- at 7 p.m. Jan. 10 at the Strongsville High School media center and at 7 p.m. Jan. 24 at the Board of Education offices -- to present overall plans for a new middle school, the budget, the process and how the money will be spent.

"The public is going to be well-informed up front," Donnelly said.

In addition, David Riley, the legal consultant hired by the district to oversee the construction management plan, recommended creating an oversight committee that will represent the public throughout the construction.

"I think that's very important," Riley told school board members last week.

Riley also asked school officials to compile a list of local businesses in the construction trades and try to involve them in the project.

The district could go so far as to require a certain percentage of the work force be from Strongsville, he said.

The approval of Issue 116 at the polls last month clears the way for the district to build a new middle school on the site of the existing Center Middle School. Once it opens, Albion Middle School will close.

The bond issue will also pay for upgrades to Strongsville High School and the elementary school buildings.

Ward 3 Councilman Jim Carbone, who helped draft the plan for the bond issue, said officials are acutely aware that the issue passed by only 83 votes, meaning that roughly half of Strongville voters did not favor the issue.

He said he still wants to convince those residents that the bond issue will ultimately help the community.

"We want to re-engage them an make them feel confident about their investment," Carbone said.

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