The Massillon (Ohio) district has begun construction of two elementary schools.
The Massillon Independent reports that each of the schools will have more than 91,000 square feet of space to accommodate students in prekindergarten through third grade.
The new buildings will replace three aging elementary schools: Whittier is 82 years old, Franklin is 66 years old, and Gorrell is 55 years old.
The existing buildings do not have sufficient space, are not energy efficient, and are not equipped to handle modern technology, officials say. The district has spent millions in recent years replacing boilers and repairing the plumbing and heating systems.
All three schools are set to be razed when the project is complete.
One new school will be constructed on the Washington High School campus. The other school will be built behind the Massillon Intermediate and Junior High School on the city's west side. The design of the schools is nearly identical. Both buildings will have single-story sections, as well as two-story sections.
Pre-K and kindergarten will have a separate entrance and a separate playground at both buildings.
The school board has approved locally funded initiatives above state-approved building plans, to provide more classroom space, larger cafeterias, wider hallways and a larger gym.
Construction is expected to be completed in time for the opening of the 2025-26 school year.
The overall construction cost is projected to be about $45 million. The district is contributing $29.8 million, and the Ohio Facilities Construction Commission is providing $15.2 million.
The project architect is the Architectural Vision Group, and the construction manager is CT Taylor.