Johnstown High School
401 S. Oregon Street
Adams Middle School
80 West Maple Street
125 N. Oregon Street
Fax 740 967-0051
85 West Douglas Street
December 19, 2014
The Johnstown-Monroe Local School Board of Education in partnership with the Church of the Ascension, announced today they are awaiting final agreement of a land purchase which will be valuable in placing the high school on a “workable site.” The final proposal for purchasing of land will be submitted when the land survey is complete. The School Board has agreed to purchase a 60’ egress along the West end of the church property heading South, and a 60’ right of way on two sides of the property. A parking lot area adjoining the school property will be included in the site planning process. The total amount of the land purchased was four acres for a total cost of $20,000.
Following the passage of the Bond Levy in May, many residents expressed concerns regarding the placement of the new high school on the practice field behind the current high school. After an in-depth evaluation, Board members quickly turned their attention to finding an alternative to this site.
“The acquisition of the church property will provide an access from the school property onto Caswell Road and expand the opportunity for parking and access to both State Route 37 and Caswell Road, While the final phase in selecting a new site is still in progress, it appears the better location will be in the area of our current softball field,” said Dale Dickson, Superintendent of Johnstown-Monroe Schools.
Father J.L Reichert, Pastor of the Church of the Ascension and a former teacher, was enthusiastic about the idea from the beginning. "Selling a portion of our property to the Johnstown schools in order to make this project happen, makes sense all the way around. The Church of the Ascension will gain an additional access point. It helps the school district by allowing it to locate the new high school in the best possible area. The entire Johnstown community will benefit through positive growth and the expansion of development. The school has always been a good neighbor to us and we look forward to the opportunities that this agreement will afford everyone involved."
Johnstown resident, Brett Beverick, a member of the Church of the Ascension who serves on the Parish Finance Committee, was also involved in the purchase discussions. “We're excited about the opportunity to work with the school board on this land acquisition. This project is in the best interest of our church and the Johnstown school district. The Church of the Ascension is proud to partner with the community and we look forward to future opportunities to ensure the successful growth of our faith community as well as the city of Johnstown,” Beverick stated.
The school district facilities project includes building a new 9-12 high school, a K-5 elementary school (located in Leafy Dell) and the renovation of the current high school building to be used as a 6-8 middle school. The Performing Arts Center will be refurbished and will continue to be used for the benefit of students and community programs.
The facilities project is funded at 29% through the State of Ohio School Facilities Commission (OFCC) and 71% will be from local voters and from bond issues monies passed in May of 2014. Funding for the renovation of the current high school will be provided through a Local Funding Initiative (LFI). The state will not financially participate in the renovation project
“We can’t wait for the building project to ‘kick into high gear’. Acquiring land, defining a positive infrastructure, hiring architects and securing vendors has been our first priority. Now we can dedicate our attention to working with educators, community residents, and architects to clearly define educational spaces,” stated Board President Ruth Ann Booher.
Meetings continue to be conducted internally with district staff members to gather ideas to design the ultimate plan. The next step of the process will include, a school board/community meeting to be held in the Performing Arts Center on January 26, 2014. Architects and vendors will be introduced to everyone. Visual presentations will be presented by OFCC, architects and vendors. This meeting will bring everyone up to date.
“It will be important to gather suggestions for placement of building and define a safe traffic flow to and from each building. Board members are continuing to receive great ideas from photographs and written suggestions from residents visiting other school districts. We hope that input continues,” concluded Tim Swauger, School Board Vice President.
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